for my sister


The things we saved we won’t

throw away now—old toys,

postcards and trinkets.  Everything

that really happened—one summer


or the next—we’ve both revised

into the stories we believe

we didn’t invent.  How much

have we deceived ourselves?


We’ll never find out.  Look

at what we kept—the sand dollar

and its broken stars, the paperweight

with its tiny sea horse still


afloat inside.  What did we want

when we bought them?

Standing at the counter,

waiting for our parents to pay,


we must have been impatient

for our actual lives to begin.

As if they hadn’t,

as if we’d know when they did.