Skip to content



– Poetry by Murielle Gingras –

Featured in issue 17 of Dreamers Magazine and Honourable Mention in the 2024 Sense of Home Contest

If you listen I will tell you
But only if you cross your heart and hope to die

It wasn’t long ago
Not long at all now
That you and I were two peas in a pod
I remember this all like yesterday
Though some days I find it fleeting
Half there
Half not

I want you to listen real careful
Take all of this in
Because sometimes
No, not just sometimes
I think you forget how it used to be

I remember how the playground was our second home
You were too tall for the slide
People thought you were older
They laughed
You used to cry in the night when you thought I was asleep
I read your diary once
You scribbled about how much you hate your legs
Why can’t I be normal? Why am I so tall?
You didn’t know how beautiful you were then
Do you even know now?

We used to listen to all the best grunge music
And we would hate on the top one hundred
But we still danced to it on the front lawn in nothing but our bare soles
As the neighbours trimmed their hedges
Those were the days when the television music channels still played music
And we would sit after the streetlights came on
Watching all of the latest videos
But after we were caught watching women prance around in lingerie
While singing about a smoky club
We were banned from watching it
But only when dad was around

We used to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Cans of mandarins in sweet juice that we would suck from the top
To take off down the road in search of the great adventure
Cars would fly by us
Kicking up dirt the whole way
You always made me stand the furthest away from the road
I was so little then compared to you
You always seemed so strong and big
As if you would always protect me

I remember the days we spent huddled over the sink
Fingers laced in soapy water
Chatter and laughter
Bickering and spats
There were times when the sink would overflow
Bubbles flying from one playful fist to the next
Our water stained shirts
Slipping on the floor as an ocean began to fill around us
You would always do the cutlery for me

I never washed the spoons completely
You never told

Remember that one Halloween when I wanted to be a robot?
We used to always have to be princesses or fairies
But you told me I could be anything I wanted to be
The entire day
After carving pumpkins on the front porch
We worked on this costume
Two rolls of tin foil
Three used boxes from the grocery store
A coat hanger bent out of shape
You could be so creative
We were always so proud
Too bad the head got too heavy
So when I took it off
Everyone thought I was a washing machine
I still laugh about it every Halloween that passes

There was a time when I was afraid of thunderstorms
You always used to get headaches thirty minutes before the first rumble
I would slide into your bed
Our backs pressed up against the wall as the sky lit up in a dance of bolts
You told me to cover my ears
There’s nothing to be scared of
Think about it like this
God is striking down Barney the Dinosaur
Or the Teletubbies
Even the Spice Girls!
We would laugh because we hated them
Secretly loved them
But mostly hated
Then you would tell me to imagine
Just picture it now
All the candy in the world
Especially gummy bears
See, isn’t that better now?

We made up a club
Only us two were allowed
Thursday nights with bowls of chips
Cream soda
All the candy our small pockets could afford
We would watch the same movie four times in a row
Each time falling a little bit more in love with it
We would laugh so hard that we would have to pause
Take a breath
Press play again
Only to pause once more because
You snorted and it made me start laughing again

The nights where we couldn’t sleep
You would tell me to close my eyes
And come away to Candy Land with you
We drove a hot pink Barbie dream car
The roads were made of graham crackers
The buildings of chocolate
Jellybeans lined the walkways
There was a lake of pudding

Pop Rocks fell from the sky like rain
We could eat however much we wanted and never feel full
At some point I would fall asleep
Smile on my face as I thought about our trip to Candy Land
After awhile we stopped going there
I used to beg to go back
You were too tired
It was time to sleep now

Every day of the summer we spent at the public pool
I was scared of the deep end
But you were like a fish
When I finally learnt to swim
We would go to the bottom of the pool
To have underwater tea parties
I would float to the top first
I couldn’t sink
You taught me how to swim backwards

Like a mermaid
I still think of you when the water rushes around my head
When my eyes are staring up at the sky
Some times I still think about being a mermaid
But only when I’m swimming backwards
The first time you fell in love
I gave him my approval
Because you wanted to make sure that I was okay with it
I was
At first
But then I was sad
Missing you at night when we used to talk
Until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer
You stayed out late
So late that I couldn’t wait up anymore
Sometimes you would wake me up
Just to talk about him
And to giggle
I giggled with you
Because I wanted you to be happy
But I wanted you to stay home with me

When you were finally able to drive the van
You took me to this abandoned house on the corner in the middle of nowhere
Fading yellow paint
An overgrown tree with branches sliding through the front window
A busted in front door
You told me to watch my step
Half of the floor was missing
Now that I think of it that was really dangerous
Walking across one plank of rotten wood to get to the other side
Looking down at the unfinished basement where the shoe of a child lay
You told me that the reason the kitchen was burnt to a crisp
Was that an old lady burnt to death
It wasn’t true
But it scared me at the time
When we tried to go upstairs
They kept giving out
I wanted to be brave
So did you

You told me you swore you heard an animal
We have never run so fast in our lives

When you were going off to school
I begged you not to go
You were so set
You were going to call me every other day
You promised
I’ll never forget the song that played on the radio when we left the airport
Watching you soar through the skies
I still hear it from time to time
And I think about how that was the first time I ever had my heart broken
You stopped calling
I still waited by the phone

As we got older
Time flew by like seconds
You didn’t seem so big to me any more
I started to hate my own legs, too
I don’t sit by the phone any more
But I still think about the grass between our toes
The soap in our fists
The snorting laughter
The underwater tea parties
The burnt lady
The candy streets
The giggles about boys
The backwards swimming mermaids
The washing machine robot
The lightning bolts
And always the great adventure

You are older now
There are tiny feet following behind you
I hope that
Even though I want that for myself again
You are able to share these memories with them
But I hope this time
The memories never end
Even if you don’t remember them with me
I hope you remember the memories with those tiny faces
I am not letting you go
Not now
Not ever
I missed you then
And I miss you now
You don’t realize the extent that you loved
Until it’s gone
But I’m removing the -ed
Because I still love you
You will always be my first best friend
My sister

I guess time takes memories because we build new ones
But we are grateful for the shadows of feelings that trail behind us

About the Author – Murielle Gingras

“Murielle Gingras, a Nova Scotia native but raised in Ontario from age 7, found her passion for writing nurtured by her military father and stay-at-home mother. Early on, she delved into storytelling, transitioning from verbal tales to written works, starting with comics and eventually exploring prose and poetry. After earning a certificate as a Personal Support Worker, she embarked on a career in elder care, later attending York University for English Literature & Creative Writing. Her debut series, The Deerborn Series, garnered accolades on Wattpad and beyond, culminating in a second-place win in Inkitt’s Turn Off The Lights contest. Murielle’s journey continues as she writes and aids people with disabilities in rural Ontario, cherishing a quiet life with her pets.”

Meanwhile, at Dreamers…