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The Rival Sisters

They were loyal sisters.
The older
was also more fair,
prettier in an Original Barbie kind of way.

She had been sick
when her younger,
darker,
more tomboy sister
met and first desired
my tall, dark, and handsome Uncle.

When older and fairest of all Sisters
returned home,
after a long healthcare absence,
she too desired Uncle Handsome,
as did we all,
in our time and ways,
but Handsome’s eyes never wavered again
once reset on older and fairest Sister.

Young darker Sister, left behind,
began to heal
when tall, dark, and handsome #2
showed up
and spoke smokey truths
of happiness,
kindness,
quiet gentleness.
But not too gentle.
Slow and steady; confident
integrity could heal all guilt
and angers
and prior disappointments.

These two Sisters
and their TD and H husbands
lived near each other
and grew old together
with unspoken neighborly mistrusts,
unresolved struggles with and about envy,
jealousies and jilts,
but also laughter and deep mutual regard.

Who can control chemistry,
or timing?
Who can forgive,
and how long could this revolution take?

Yet even restrained love
can grow abundantly rich
with both age and generosity.

Younger and darker Sister
lost her husband to cancer
and then her memory,
while older fairest Sister and husband
moved into assisted housing
after reaching golden fifty years
together.

Then good-natured patient waiting
to embrace final retirement,
a journey we each take alone,
as when we entered
except without Mom nearby,
or maybe this too remains the same, somehow.

Older ancient Barbie Sister
did not let go
until younger jilted Sister
quietly stopped breathing in her deep night sleep,
lost in memories not accessible by day.

Ten nights later
Barbie Sister passed out of embodied memories
in this same way.
Safe at last,
knowing it was then too late
for TD and H Uncle
to go back before that place
where they had started.

They say death comes in threes.
I wonder why.

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