My Sister's Child
My sister's child died when she was nine,
forever denied the pink kingdom to which
she'd aspired. This is the cause of constant guilt
for my sister.
In all the ways of the world,
my sister's child was wise, save in the ways
of children. She never was a child.
Books were her first ministers. Her brothers, who grew
to understand her, were only her page boys.
She turned the pages of their play, giving them
a story structure.
To my sister, she extended her cool respect,
as befitting a queen of equal stature.
Forgiving us our strange customs,
she suffered her embraces with good humor.
She even returned them.
To me, the constant traveller, the forever stranger at her court -
which was the splendor of my sister's living room -
she was always kind. I am sure
she did not mean to patronize.
My shiftlessness fascinated her.
Only, to her mind,
there was a purpose to my meander.
I was the unfinished novel she was forever
second guessing, a novel she was sure
would end in marriage; and a little cousin
she could instruct in her droll view
of the world.
She would have liked you, I am sure.
You, too, are an Ideal Reader. If, like her,
a little too apt to be amused by the poor protagonist
who does her best to amuse, who perseveres,
till, poor soul, she reaches the road
you've long discovered and are waiting on
with open arms to lead her on.