Lucinda, the second Lenora

Being too much the devil
and too much the angel,
yet the soul of a wicked little brother,
I wish I had at the time known to ask:
what sin did ever I commit
to deserve the scourge of that girl?

We laugh about it now, those days,
before we Hanseled and Greteled away,
she to find her way back home
while I lost my way.

But now we look onto a hundred years or more
and know that the places may change but the paths do not,
no matter how often you wander them.
But it’s all right, it really is, the crumbs
are all dried and blown away or eaten by the birds—
there’s nothing left that’s not been given away, and anyway,
they were given gladly, long, long ago.

This poem is for my sister, Lucinda, better known as Cindy. (Her second name, Lenora, she shares with our maternal grandmother.) She will, I hope, forgive me for taking a poem from several years ago and re-writing it for this posting. In looking it over, I realized that the original was actually two poems rudely (foolishly?) pushed together. Despite its name, Lucinda, the Second Lenora is more about her and me together than just her, although, as in all things, I will always give her the lead. The other section of that original poem is now a poem all to its own and is called There;  it is all very much only about Cindy and I will present it when next I post.

I love my sister very, very much and can proudly say that I am fortunate to have grown up the younger sibling of a person who is as kind, loving, generous and as intuitive as she is. And if hard work is a virtue, surely she must be the most virtuous woman on the planet! Actually, in trying to come up with the single most best word to describe her (something I have thought long and hard on) perhaps the best word is one that is sadly out of fashion these days, ‘noble,’ for that is what she is: having the bearing and mien of wisdom and authority with the stamp of humility to make her kind nature shine through.

And this, mind you, despite the fact that as children we fought like wet cats and dogs (alas, too true) and that she, being the older, was the most wicked little manipulator and torturer that the good Lord put on this side of the Hundred Year’s War (alas, also true.)

Gosh what a wonderful, rich life we have lead!

Thank you for reading Lucinda, the second Lenora. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge,


Filed under Poetry

11 responses to “Lucinda, the second Lenora

  1. I love it, such an immense talent. Brilliant.

  2. therealvixen

    I have two brothers. This poem really took me back home. Our home used to be so full of music and fun. and of course the fighting part is the funniest, when you look back.:) Our style of fighting was very rare!! we used to hide each others stuff….and watch the other go mad 🙂

    • In the end, what matters is that you were surrounded by love, learned to receive love and learned to love to give it back. Blood spilled along the way was only incidental! 🙂

  3. thenerdyscribe

    May I nominate you for the Sunshine blog award? 🙂

    • Thank you so very much and I deeply appreciate the gesture…I really do. But I have taken the position of kindly asking that no one give the site any awards. I explain it more fully on the About page, but, again, I very much appreciate the kindly gesture. Sorry.

  4. Barbara Minor

    My sister Lois and I had a relationship of all relationships. We were called Irish Twins, born 15 months apart. Now that she is gone, she isn’t gone from my thoughts…we are still talking to each other and sometimes laughing together. I can see that special love in this poem and thank you dearly for writing this.

  5. I almost missed this one John, I am so glad I didn’t. So many amazing lines in there and I smiled from beginning to end. Hey, aren’t all older Sisters terrible tormenters? I mean, how dare us second-borns happen along and ruin their gig!

  6. Pingback: there | the Book of Pain