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Eighteen Months

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Her old sweaters never fit me quite right,
always too big in the shoulders.
But I dutifully pulled them on
and wore them anyway.

Her choices never suited me exactly right,
always a little too safe.
But I never questioned them
and made the same ones anyway.

The second name on the list
never gets quite as much applause,
but I walk up onstage
and accept my award anyway.

Eighteen months doesn’t sound like much,
and yet I was never able to catch her
in backyard games of tag.
All I have ever seen is the back of her legs
running away from my outstretched hand.

She came before me, cleared a path.
It should be so easy
to know exactly where to go.
But every time I step in her old footprints
I can’t help but notice
that her feet are two sizes larger
than mine.





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