Sibling

You took apart the old Victrola
and used the works to wind a string
so we could pull a wicker basket
to the second story landing
we called a balcony.

When the weather was bad
we played Batman and Robin.

You had a yellow towel
for a cape
and pulled briefs
over a pair of rayon pajamas
just the right blue.

I had a red jerkin
and long ribbed stockings
that buttoned to a cotton vest.

You played with the other boys
in the neighborhood
who were your age and athletic.

They let me put on my white apron
and nurse’s cap
so long as I sat quietly on the porch
while the war went on in the back yard.

Bobby gashed a knee and I cried
while you bandaged the cut and scoffed.

I put on a Juliet cap
and played alone on the balcony.

Once you were abusive.

I tattled and neither of us
have forgotten it
or spoken of it again.

©2006, Janet Taliaferro