My sister Susannah,
has thick black curls, slanted eyebrows,
and a dimple on her cheek.
She is a fig tree,
short but determined,
facing the wind, never bending.

She came back every summer,
to see friends, to see family,
to see Philadelphia.
But one day would always be devoted to me.

That day we would walk,
around and around the city in circles,
like a lost child,
but we weren’t lost, we know the city like an old book,
the kind you read over and over.
The city was our home,
but she had to leave it.

We would go to places we loved,
like the art store or the book shop,
we’d go to places we hated,
like the dentist’s office.

We would go to places we had never been to.
She once said,
“Look around, Olivia,
you might love this place.”
So, I looked around.
I was a tired cat just waking up,
turning around and looking at everything,
before rolling over, and falling asleep again.

Then we’d go home, we would stay awhile,
then she would go back,
back to NYU and New York,
and I would stay and wave.
I was a smaller fig tree, just a sapling next to Susannah,
trying not to sway in the wind.


Olivia Maltz is a seventh grader at Friends Select School. She enjoys writing poetry, making ceramics and playing the ukulele. She has lived in West Philadelphia her entire life.