Sherrie Fernandez-Williams

Author of Soft: A Memoir

Another Request 
Sherrie Fernandez-Williams

Following you sister, 

into your room
You are there beyond my imaginings. 
The worn wood speaks back to me as I enter.
It tells me I am welcomed, 
but please do not disturb the souls 
resting on the credenza or 
burgundy leather chair 
near the narrow window 
sealed shut by time
Spirits transferred onto stacks, and stacks, of paper.
In those sheets, you have made yourself present
and saved the lives of our dead
and resurrected even the living,
like me. 
You chose not to grin in the countenance of power
to prove you are a trustworthy servant.
You aimed for greater aspirations.
even if it meant isolation,
even if it meant going hungry.
Building your own structure
to store evidence of your existence
and its meaning.
You chose self-identification and provocative critique 
of what others might see as fundamental realities.
You painted clear and insightful pictures
above the white canvases of lies.  
You have continued to create, and resurrect, 
and save us from being buried alive.
When our struggles are blanketed and 
shoved into dank and dusty corners,
you bring them into light
I stand in your room, not wanting to agitate those who have found rest through your remembering of them.
You have given them, and us, all you had.
And, I dare not ask for more.  


Except, if I could. 

I would ask one thing,

Teach me...