LILY LESSING

To My Little Sister

I’m going to stick out my thumb and hitch-hike a ride to heaven for us. Then we’ll live in a country conjured just for us, where the salmon aren’t too scared to jump, and the sea is crowded with fish and the tide knows what to do, and all the fog and smut, black chimneys and smoke from the rooftops will be far, far away from me and you.

            One day, we’ll climb to the top of a monkey tree and watch the morning mist rise and the seagulls flying away to the ocean. It will be a bright blue sky without a single cloud, and the breeze will be warm and gentle.

            Billions of butterflies will wake up from their chrysalis to burst into flight. We’ll watch a miracle of colourful wings folding and unfolding, filling the sky. A rainbow of every colour imaginable, eddying and pulsing, and you will love the graceful soft beating and floating of wings. The whole air will be full of the sound of a drum and the beating of flawless wings will be a great painting in the sky – better because it is moving and living, not a still life but life folding in pleats, the sky pouring out its heart. 

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