The Heretofore Unremarked Upon Capulet Daughter Reflects On The Loss Of Her Sister

There is, or so I am told, a debate raging

In fashionable rooms and the halls of government

Which concerns snowflakes—specifically, whether each one

Is of a unique and heretofore unknown shape and formation,

Or whether God sees fit to send down identical reproductions,

Like so many Wilton Diptychs being flogged at market.

I have, on the odd occasion, have seen the snow

As it piles up in billowing waves or lumpy bluffs

In the Alps and the Pyrenees, and, although I lack the learning

Sufficient to dispute the notion of their individuality,

I can say that, in collections of the thousands or millions,

They are indistinguishable from one another or, I suspect,

All of their like that has come before.


Like so many of her age, barely beyond the blush of childhood,

My poor sister saw her world in stark colorations;

Thunderclouds of black, endless sunbeams of white,

With no room in her orbit’s spectrum for anything in between

(Sadly, she left this life before she could learn to embrace

The beauty to be found in fine raiments of beige, gray, and taupe).

I have buried siblings, buried husbands and lovers,

Buried memories and mistakes, and in the endless cycle

Of embrace and bereavement I have learned that life

Is the process of accommodation and compromise,

And that it is only dark, austere death

That refuses to give itself unto the joys of negotiation.


It has lately come to pass that the wretched and lovelorn have,

Seeing no way out of their particular predicament,

Began writing my long-dead sister letters asking

For her advice if not her blessing.  Can you imagine such a thing?

The postmaster of Thurn and Taxis (a very old and dear friend)

Has taken to bringing me some of these abjectly weepy epistles.

I’ve long since stopped reading them, of course;

They sing no new song, tread no new ground.

I simply feed them to a good strong fire,

As anyone who seeks the aid of a dead young girl

Has passed beyond the refuge of last resort.


5 thoughts on “The Heretofore Unremarked Upon Capulet Daughter Reflects On The Loss Of Her Sister

  1. I can say in all honesty, that I believe you to be one of the best poets I’ve read on-line, with a voice reminiscent of the Modernists, before writers went Post-
    There is something of Eliot’s Wasteland voice here, which is quite mesmerizing. You should have a wide and discerning audience for your writing.

    1. Hello, Kerry–nice to see you in this neighborhood.

      As to my standing among poets, as my English 101 professor said to me so long ago “Kortas, you’re the second best writer I’ve ever had the privilege to have in class. Unfortunately, ever other one of my prior students is tied for first.”

  2. frickin rocking write…love the start on the snow flakes, then turning to your sister…and the slow unveil she is passed and how futile the efforts…nice blend of reference in there…and i love your title…

  3. “oh…wow” were indeed the words out of my mouth after this read…powerful, and haunting. (sadly, I can even relate to writing a letter to a buried love..never did send, though) You’ve done a brilliant job with taking your reader on a journey, thank you.

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