Into the Unknown with the Known

I know no existence without her,

She knows no other younger sister.

I was always right behind,

Endeavoring to match stride.


From doting into my bassinet,

To slamming doors in my face,

She was never rid of me,

To her delight and dismay.

~4 year difference,

Narrowed with age.

Growing out of bratty baby sister,

While she remained unfairly cool elder.


She held the family together,

From low on the hierarchy.

Her vivacious energy,

Engulfed the household. 

Our years as the last two at home,

She brought endless joy to my life,

Using the most basic of activities,

Helping in ways I’d trust no other.

She created a safe haven,

Among shark-invested water.


Leaving for college left an unfillable void,

Only widening with her 18-month mission.

She told me as we sat on the hood of her car,

The sun setting as horror washed over me.

Her college was just miles away,

Now she was off to who knew where.

After all our years together,

She was finally leaving me.


Sending her off almost killed me,

But she didn’t end up leaving.

Written words sounding like her voice,

Weekly emails keeping me afloat.

When she finally returned,

I realized we never let go.


As I headed back to the West Coast,

She joined my initial Oregon arrival.

As my international 2021 plans delayed,

She beckoned me to the East Coast.


Settling into my new surroundings,

Reveals something I think I’ve always known:

It’s not truly entering the unknown,

With a familiar companion on side.


Brittan began writing poetry in June 2020, when she was overwhelmed by emotion upon remembering events previously hidden by dissociative amnesia. She uses poetry as a therapeutic exercise when revisiting homophobic traumatic memories and describing life with BPD & Bipolar 2. She uses poetry as a medium for self-expression when discussing Buddhism, lesbianism, and platonic love.

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