blackbirdonline journalFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Safety Scissors

Watch what you say about younger sisters within older sisters’ earshot. You know, things like, “What beautiful curls the little one has! And what long eyelashes!”

Forty years later I can still feel the yank on my scalp as my four-year-old sister pulled my curls straight so she could shear them. Can still feel her finger forcing my eyelid down, as I sat trapped by the high chair’s embrace. Can still hear the scissors’ snick, snick.

Funny, but what I wonder at now is not that she did it, but that when I realized she was going to do it, I didn’t struggle. She was going to do it whether I liked it or not, so I sat still. Even then, I had an instinct for self-preservation. And you see, I was right. I’m alive, and she isn’t.  

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