Saturday, July 23, 2011
In a parallel universe
my sister is waking,
her heart full, thinking
about Sam and Katie,
how nervous they were last night,
at the rehearsal, how sweet
to one another, and all those
grown-up boys—David, so like
our dad when he was young,
and Sam’s buddies, all of them
still children in her mind’s eye,
playing Ghostbusters in the yard.
Which makes her a little weepy
about how quickly the time went,
how quickly it’s going.
But it is a happy day,
she is happy and that is all
she ever wanted. Her memories
are all happy. Holding Sam
for the first time in her arms,
his first words, his first steps
and how fervently he loved lawn mowers
and balloons and dinosaurs.
The year he went to preschool
every morning, a fabric tail pinned to his pants.
She remembers his head bent over a first grade primer,
the sound of his flutey voice, reading aloud,
his floppy white-blond hair and bony arms
and legs and little boy sweat. The smell of chlorine
on his skin after a day in the pool.
And when, suddenly, he was so tall
she had to look up to see him. She remembers him
driving away the first time in the car
and how he looked in his tuxedo on prom night,
the feel of his arm around her, the click
of the shutter, capturing them together
for all time, beaming.
In this universe, there is no memory
of sickness, she can’t even imagine not living
to see his wedding day, which she is rising
to meet on this sunny summer morning.