We were young when
my sister discovered the magic of cosmetics.
I don’t mean the usual “I’m a Barbie girl” obsessions,
but the sort of transfiguration lessons
that McGonnegal would be proud of.
Most weekends, she would venture into her cauldron
of polishes, perfumes and blush
and come up with a hocus-pocus compound
to turn the our house topsy-turvy.
Her technique for putting
involved recipes not found
since the days of Queen Nefertiti.
My sister the Apothecary,
the Hogwarts Superstar.
In her potion dungeon-room,
with jars of concealing oils,
atropine and beeswax,
she would go mad scientist.
Though early in days of inexperience,
Mollie would emerge from her laboratory
looking like a Circus Clown,
with mascara painted on thick and a smile
of lipstick tattooed permanently across her face.
Yet somehow while I was away at college,
her playful experiments evolved and
she gained the ability to paint on
disguises that should be published
in the CIA espionage handbook.
During out family Skype dates,
I would be greeted by a Frankenstein
that my sister proudly created.
Instead of seeing my loving parents,
my father would disappear behind
eyeliner and hair that looked like an Alfalfa Rash
(from the little rascals)
had sprouted along his head.
Needless to say, he was her favorite model.
Other days he would transform into Medusa
with a haircut that cost too much
even for John Edwards.
Or maybe he’d play an 18th century aristocrat,
complete with facial hair.
Regardless of his features,
he began our conversations the same way,
as if nothing were amiss.
Sometimes he would grin as if
we kept a secret,
as his being clay was
what gave my sister superpowers
(The David to her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle),
and maybe he was right.