Sister

Emma Johnson-Rivard

She wrote a story about two girls in love
talking on a cliff
but never showed anyone.
Wrote another instead
about a murdered boy
covered in wax, this
won praise for its gravity
There was a line about sinking
and she wrote the same cliff in the murder that
the young lovers awkwardly confessed on

The murderer, incidentally
never said a word
He was caught by fate
science conspired against him
She wrote him unkindly, then
was told he had great depth

This is what we call irony.

She went to a wedding, was mistaken
for the bride's sister,
did not dance at the reception
She took a peacock feather for a gift
broke it in half, stuck it in her hair
It was not whole but it was hers

Later, this was not said:
You would not come if I married
You would not dance or
smile for my wife for the sole reason that
she would be
my wife

Both of them are writers, this
is not said
She keeps the feather in a book, is not surprised
when the marriage goes wrong
Her sister, who is not really her sister
has always been an optimist

She returns to the murder story
the one where the dead boy rises
ten years later
preserved in wax
to haunt the cliff side
where the two lovers
young girls with black hair once held hands
and cast stones
across the river below