Friday, November 19, 2010

Banshee (for Nancy)

There were nights on those bleak hills the wind would moan up death. It was the bean-sidhe's howl.

My older sister, nine at the time, dreaded the banshee that came at the end of the Disney movie, 'Darby O'Gill and the Little People.' She spirited me away from in front of the TV so I would hide with her under our father's desk, well away from the sound of its keening. She knew the banshee portends death and to hear it could mean she was coming for you.

I wonder if my sister heard the banshee again a few weeks ago when she died. It had been fifty years since we had been scrunched together under that desk. I'm sure living with cancer for two years would have, in the end, softened her fear. So I imagine when it came, the wail of the banshee might have sounded more like a siren's song.

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