Jon Pineda

My Sister, Who Died Young, Takes Up the Task

A basket of apples brown in our kitchen,
their warm scent is the scent of ripening,


and my sister, entering the room quietly,
takes a seat at the table, takes up the task


of peeling slowly away the blemished skins,
even half-rotten ones are salvaged carefully.


She makes sure to carve out the mealy flesh.
For this, I am grateful.     I explain, this elegy


would love to save everything.     She smiles at me,
and before long, the empty bowl she uses fills,


domed with thin slices she brushes into
the mouth of a steaming pot on the stove.


What can I do? I ask finally.     Nothing,
she says, let me finish this one thing alone.



“My Sister, Who Died Young, Takes Up the Task” first appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Vol. 8, No. 1.