Help your sister, Mama says, she’s got artist’s block. She’s spent all morning dabbling at an empty canvas. I am not my sister’s keeper, I mumble as I pull at my fingernail, eager to get back to my own work. She may be the first artist in the family but she is not the last, I want to scream but no one is listening. They are all looking at my sister, the budding star, the praying mantis who eats her rivals. Born two years apart, she is the sun, I am the moon, and she eclipses me every time we meet someone new with her tales of New Mexico, her monastic wardrobe, and her flowers on steroids. She steals the limelight but still I shine like the stars over the endless farmland that we call home. Even her own husband pesters me to share his bed. She’s told me to stop exhibiting, that there’s not room for more than one artist in the family, as if there’s not room for more than one star in the sky. She thinks she’s got the Midas touch, but her work is tin, not golden. Her flowers are static, not blooming, their only gift their monumental size. Some nights when the air is so toxic and I can no longer bear her preening, I slip out of the house and gaze at the starlight that has traveled through so much darkness to shine down on me and remember that the sun wobbles and spins but it’s the moon that pulls the tides.
Michele Morris is a former magazine editor and travel writer. She has a BA in creative writing from the University of Arizona and an MS in journalism from Columbia University. She’s the author of hundreds of magazine articles and two non-fiction books, one on Chinese cookery and the other on cowboys. Born and raised on a ranch in Montana, Michele raised her children in New York City. She’s lived and worked in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and presently lives in Park City, Utah where she skis, hikes and bikes, and has the stories and injuries to prove it.
The Ekphrastic Review
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