To My Sister as I Leave
"I can't believe my baby sister's growing up!"
I grew up years ago
seeing you surrender to the world.
Who will you miss?
The wide-eyed child of yesterday
with untied shoes and smudged cheeks
whose cherub smile was swallowed up
by life's disappointment?
Or this inwardly collapsing girl
who never sings anymore,
but cautiously observes the world
as you dance, oblivious, without a song?
This baby girls is grown.
The borrowed love that built our home
wore down with worry, years ago.
Anxious termites desperate
to scatter us without a hope.
Baby sister left us then
I missed her, too, my childhood self
the warmth and shine of innocence
a heart as light as laughter.
But I can't mourn tenderness loss
now that I know what I know,
undone as I have been by borrowed fear.
Who is there to miss?
Oh, I believe it's better now
there is no baby sister left.