The Sister Wish

The Sister Wish — by Judith Staff 

Sparkling fountain
Splendorous sight for a child          IMG00563-20140427-1113
A penny pressed into my tiny palm
“Make a wish” they tell me
Always my wish is the same
Closing my eyes, adrenaline soars,
I hurl the money excitedly
Six words repeated each time
“I wish I had a sister”
The coin’s plunge a familiar sound
Delicate splash on the surface
Taking my wish deep
Into the cold, clear water
I plead for more loose change
To make more wishes
Again and again
“I wish I had a sister”
She comes to my tea parties
With my dolls and teddy bears
She comforts me when I feel afraid
Most days, her name is Sarah
In time, I begin to realise
The sister I wish for is older
And my wish can never be,
Though still I wish the same
Every fountain, every penny;
“I wish I had a sister”
She will be beautiful
And clever, and taller
I’ll stare at her as she speaks to me
Telling me marvellous things
Unshakably ever-calm in a crisis
Because she knows it will be okay
She tells me so.
“I wish I had a sister”
Now I am a woman, a wife, a mother…
My wishes have all finally come true.
*Dedicated to each of my beautiful friends who are a little older and a lot wiser than I will ever be. I am so grateful for my older “sisters”; you are all my wishes come true.

 

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