Siblings 2

by Annette Snyckers

At your wedding so long ago
in the grey stone church —
your mother-in-law stiff-upper-lipped,
our mother beaming in blue,
I was nervous,
for I had duties as flower girl
to my big sister,
had to guide your long satin train safely
around sharp bends in the aisle —
for a faint-making moment
it caught on a splinter.
 
I look at the wedding photo on your wall
and see my half-hearted smile;
my dress did not fit right.
Or was I afraid of losing you?
 
You were always way ahead of me,
but your steps have become slow,
shuffling towards that place
you do not want to go –
I find myself right behind you now,
still worried about splinters
on the last treacherous stretch.

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