The Prettier Sister

Lindsay Vaughan

I used to enjoy snooping through my mother’s things.
I found a stash of condoms once–
raspberry, vanilla, chocolate flavored,
jumbo-sized and edible.
Another time, notes written to a bartender
on the backs of cardboard coasters
when she and her sister were still friends:
“You know you love me the most”,
“Meet me out back later. –the prettier sister.”
At age fourteen I found a ten-year-old letter from my father:
“I’m sorry about the drinking…
she was just a ploy to make you jealous.”
A skeleton key, a beat up address book,
the only photograph of my grandfather I’ve ever seen–
he looked like Cosmo Kramer.
All the teeth I’d ever lost,
shoved into a brown box
beneath an old pack of playing cards.
My mother never kept a diary,
or else I would have read it
and marvelled at her secrets.
The only things she never told anyone
were the only things that would prove
she loved somebody.


Lindsay Vaughan was born in Chicago in 1983 and is currently living in Dublin, Ireland. She’ll be returning to Chicago in October of 2002 to attend the College of Dupage, where she is an English major. She and her fiancé are working on bringing out their own e-zine, dreamvirus, by late August. Lindsay is obsessed with mashed potatoes and Charles Bukowski, and may be reached at lindsay[at]

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