On the 25th Anniversary of My Sister’s Death
(for Laura Kaplan Levin, 1946-1980)
by Bonnie Lyons
I looked up and you were there, smiling.
You’d arranged for a baby-sitter, driven to Trenton,
taken a train to Penn Station, caught a taxi to the Hilton
on West 54th and in the maze of meeting rooms
found the correct one by 8:30 AM just to hear me
read a paper I can no longer remember at the annual MLA convention.
A few hours later we were standing in line at Dubrow’s
when this old couple, unaware that Dubrow’s was Daddy’s cafeteria,
told us the Chinese food was terrible. The more they warned us,
the more we laughed. The more we laughed,
the more they warned us. Between bites of scrumptious blintzes
and sour cream (who orders Chinese food at a Jewish cafeteria?)
we looked into each other’s face and collapsed into giggles.
Then you glanced at your watch, gasped, and we sprinted
back to Penn station just in time for your return trip.
Thirty years later I clearly see us running
side by side, laughing all the way.