Sisterly Spats


Squabbles between siblings seem to be a common thread
in every family I know, no matter how well bred.
Pillow fights might escalate into something more—
slapping and hair-pulling and rolling on the floor.

Age nourishes the problem with petty jealousy.
Nothing like a boy to end a sister’s loyalty!
Squabbles over borrowed clothes—a stain or a ripped hem,
hormones, insecurities and problems strictly femme.

Cruel labels given: “sloppy, slutty, fat,”
exacerbate the problem by giving tit for tat.
All the sisters of our friends seem to be so swell.
Why is it that we had to draw the sister straight from Hell?

At what point does the shift occur? When do the battles end?
What turns a sparring sister into a girl’s best friend?
Nieces and nephews help by turning sisters into aunties.
Bonding over choosing pretty dresses, frilly panties.

What is it in a baby that tends to heal old wrongs?
Memories of past adventures? Those re-remembered songs?
Old squabbles once forgotten make way for fonder thought—
giving thanks at last for the sisters that we’ve got.

Prompts for today are sibling, label, nourish and exacerbate.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

13 thoughts on “Sisterly Spats

  1. sgeoil

    One of my favourite movie scenes. My sister and I love singing that song together. It is funny how adulthood totally changes the sibling relationship!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      I thought this song was from My Sister Eileen but finding this video made me realize the song from that play/movie was “Why o why o why o did I leave Ohio.” Ha..This was from “White Christmas.” There were three girls, no boys in my family.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. koolkosherkitchen

    Is that how it was between you and your sisters, Judy? I don’t have any personal experience, but I marvel at my daughter-in-law managing three girls (two of them teenagers now!) and a boy. The good part is that all of them unite to spoil “The Prince.”


    1. lifelessons Post author

      We weren’t terribly close as little girls, when I thought she considered me a pest, although she was an avid and creative nurse when I was sick. We are very close now, since her college days and then mine. We lived together for a year when I came back from Ethiopia and she was freshly divorced. Lived in the same town for two years in college and seven after I came back from Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. koolkosherkitchen

        I have only one brother, 10 years younger, but a huge bunch of cousins of whom I am the oldest and with whom we all grew up together, We were very close, but the next girl cousin after me was three years younger, with two boys in between, and respect for age was unquestioned. When I arrived at my cousin’s son’s wedding, having been stuck in traffic and running somewhat late, the cousins were lining up for a photo shoot, but they immediately made room for me front and center. The youngest cousins are standing in the back.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. slmret

    I don’t know what to say about this one, Judy — I married at 19, probably as much as anything to leave home, and my sister married an Italian and moved to Italy admittedly for the same reason. Now, 45 years later, she has moved back to Santa Barbara, and I was hoping that the relationship would have changed so that I would have a “sister.” I am finding that she is very detached/aloof/closed, and not what I was hoping for at all! Not really a spat, but not a warm, fuzzy relationship!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Sorry..I didn’t feel I had a close relationship with my oldest sister, either, but I have to thank her for taking the only photos we have of our early life and she did nice things for me. I just don’t feel she liked me very much when I grew older. I’m thankful for my middle sister who has been supportive for all of my life even if she didn’t want me around when I was a pesky little sis. I think friends become relatives in time, though, don’t you? My two oldest friends are as close as sisters.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. slmret

    I do agree with you about good friends becoming as close as relatives.– perhaps concomitant to the earlier conversation about boyfriends/girlfriends, and perhaps a part of the reason I treat that issue the way I do. As I grow older, though, I find that my friendships are less close than they once were — interests evolve all the way through life, and mine have changed considerably!



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