Baby Huey

Baby Huey and Mama Huey.

that’s what my sister Annette called us

back when we were kids

in the Sixties,

laughing,

always laughing.

 

You have to be old enough

to remember them—cartoon ducks.

I, small, thin, wagging finger,

Mama Huey.

 

Annette, larger than Mama,

plump (fat),

Baby Huey.

 

At supper, Dad:

“Annette, you eat too much.”

She, running away

from the table

in tears

to the bedroom

we shared,

breaking my heart.

 

“Dad, do you have to?” I ask.

I’m seven, going after her

to see if I can soothe,

make her laugh.

 

She and I—

a life of diets.

I, as a teen, turned 

anorexic.

She, in her twenties, began

the way of

The Knife.

 

Decades followed of:

Fill this out.

Laser this away.

Cut this off.

Lift my chin.

 

Slit my throat.

 

Annette’s last

beautifying

youthifying

uplifting

surgery

killed

her.

 

And she never even got

to be the

“gorgeous”

melodramatic

corpse

for all to come and see, which 

she used to laughingly brag about

with wide smile and a

flare of her surgically-slimmed upper arms.

“My luck!” she would have said.

 

Her ashes

arrived in my

mailbox months later,

in a small, black sachet—

all that’s left of my

laughing buddy,

my beautiful

Baby Huey.