Steph_2 copy (2)

By Stephanie Stamm

For my “S” contribution to the A to Z Blog Challenge, I decided to share a poem I wrote about my sister. Three years have passed since her death, after 10 years with early-onset Alzheimer’s. This month marks the anniversary. Writing this poem was a way for me to reclaim and honor the creative and vibrant sister I remember.

Photo by Bryce JW (full attribution below)
Photo by Bryce JW (full attribution below)



She had a head for numbers

and a field hockey stick.

The second, she said, was not enough reason

to get a Ph.D. in physical education.

She was an unlikely-looking magician,

and she didn’t have a black silk hat

or a rabbit, but she conjured

cowboys from the linings of old coats and

big-pawed puppies from bits of plastic,

and she made us all appear

with the flick of a hand,

because she was the one

who’d been away.


The way she told it,

Red defeated the wolf

with some rock-hard biscuits,

her aim being better than her baking,

and she made the world flicker

in light and shadow

on a white sheet.


She was elder, sister, mother,

the one who first called my name,

marking a trail with books and kite string.

Compass and lodestar, she guided me north

to the land of lakes and the sound

of my own voice.

She taught me to surface dive

for good-luck pennies

and to float on the thermals,

only one thin line

anchoring me to earth.


Kite Photograph: [CC BY 2.0 (], via Flickr


Connect with me:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

I am the author of the New Adult/Young Adult urban fantasy series, The Light-Bringer:



I have also contributed stories (one fictional and one true) to the following volumes:

Undead of Winter Front Only Into the Storm Cover

Post A-to-Z Road Trip

A to Z Blog Challenge

This month we are part of the A2Z Challenge, squeeze in the car and ride along with us. This gives you a chance to read many great blogs you would not have normally known existed.


18 thoughts on “Sister

  1. Wonderful poem, wonderful way to honor your sister three years after her passing, Stephanie. I saw my mom waste away from ALS, my dad gasp for breath in the last hour of his life, but I can’t begin to know what it was like to walk in your shoes during those hard times watching your sister’s memories slip away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mike. It was incredibly hard, watching her lose herself and losing her at the same time. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through either. We can empathize with one another because we share experiences of pain and loss, but each one is so unique as well. And we just have to remember the joy and beauty of the people we have lost and of our relationships with them.


  2. What a lovely way to pay tribute to your sister! Loved the poem and its meaning. I’m sure she heard it and keeps it close to her heart wherever she is. Thank you for sharing such a personal piece with us Stephanie. I am honored that you trust us enough to share something so poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Linda. As difficult as her illness and passing were, writing this poem made me really happy–reclaiming those special things. I wanted to share it, and I’m pleased that it touched you. And, yeah, I think she heard it too.


  3. This is a lovely poem. My brother died 5 years ago this month. My youngest brother. He and I were very, very close. I still mourn my loss, and sometimes I forget he’s not here, and I expect to see him. I lost my Mom and Dad, but they were older and even though it was hard, it wasn’t as hard as losing Lee. The other death I suffered much over was my son-in-law. He got killed in an accident, two years ago in February. I’m sorry for the loss of your sister. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry for your losses as well, Cher’ley. I don’t know if we ever stop mourning them. It may get easier to reclaim the happy memories, but I think we’ll always miss them, don’t you? That’s what it means to love someone, right?


  4. A wonderful tribute. It is always hard to loose someone early, but the memories keep us warm and in love with the world. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Doris. The memories really do keep us warm and grateful to have had the person in our lives while we did. The poem helped me reclaim some of the laughter and joy.


  5. I feel both sad and happy that you’ve written such a lovely poem, Stephanie. Sad that your sister died way too young (whatever her age) and happy that you’ve managed to capture her essence in a few stanzas. You’ll be able to cherish her momory in your poem at a later date,s as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nancy. Writing this poem made me very happy–though I get weepy when I get to end if I read it out loud–because I did feel like it captured her essence. And that’s very much what I wanted to do.


  6. What a poignant poem and way to remember your sister, the very signigicant “s” in your life. I just attended a poetry workshop last weekend, your poem would have been revered. Thanks for sharing Stephanie.


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