Election Eve

They band around me,
First birthday cake,
First daughter,
First grandchild,
First niece.
Matching stripes,
pastel and white,
faces bright with occasion
as children we are.
Aunts and uncles
ringed by biology,
resemblance caught
in a snapshot of smiles.

I blow the flame,
set clock hands spinning,
scatter the circle off
silver and light.
Divorce, children,
jobs, Christmas,
houses, illness,
heartbreak, secrets,
silent fears in the dream of night.

What we don’t know
is only natural.
We grow and grow away.
Our lives unlearn,
separate, silence, seclude,
drift over time,
disorient, land.
We drop on opposite sides,
flagging balloons of red and blue.
Is it my duty to fight?

She was the funny one,
She the flower,
She was the thoughtful one,
She laughed louder,
She was the gentle one,
She was the singer,
He was the strongest one,
He was the winner.

We dressed as family
for my first birthday party.
No matter where we stand
as the day unwraps
the outcome.

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