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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Please Let Me Go First
By Mariane Holbrook


Please let me go first, don’t let me remain
To suffer the loss and endure all the pain
Of being alone, with no one to share
The mem’ries of youth when you, Sis, were there.

Who, Sister, who then, will listen to me
When I tell the tale of that old apple tree
Whose limbs I told Grandpa I never would harm?
(I swung from those branches and broke my right arm.)

Who, Sister, who will roll back all the years
And help me recall how you dried all my tears
When robins were killed by some rocks that were thrown,
Leaving their birdies to die on their own?

Who, Sister, tell me, will smile when I laugh
And tell of my wedding and my awful gaffe.
My vows I forgot, though I wrote them in stone;
I smiled through my panic and made up my own.

And who will remind me of days long ago
When Jimmy Smith hugged me and wouldn’t let go?
You ran to tell Mother to get off the phone,
But when she arrived, I said, “Leave us alone!”

And who will go with me when daisies I buy
To lay on our parents’ graves? What if I cry?
And who’ll hold my hand as I think about Dad
Who in the Depression lost all that he had.

Who’ll be at your house when I pick up the phone
To tell you of someone who’d died that we’d known?
And then I’ll remember that you’ve gone on, too.
Dear Sis, I don’t know what I’ll do without you.

You’re all I have left who remembers those days;
The rest have gone on to enjoy heaven’s praise.
When your time is up and when God calls for you,
Please ask if your sister can tag along, too.

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This article has been read 992 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 05/09/08
Lovely, heartfelt piece. I especially adore the last stanza - and the last line of it even more. Delightful.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/10/08
I loved this journey through childhood with sisters, and the last line is priceless.
Emily Gibson05/10/08
Lovely poem and so well done.
LauraLee Shaw05/12/08
Well, this says it all. This is what I wanted to write for my sister, but I see now that God had inspired your pen with it first. Tugged at my heart strings this morning. Well done!
Jan Ackerson 05/12/08
Lovely--another piece that makes me realize how much I missed out on by not having a sister.

Red Ink: It jumped about a bit in time. I wonder if the flow would be improved if it were more chronological. Very minor, though. The poem is superbly done.
Lyn Churchyard05/12/08
I'm not a 'poetry person', by that I mean I don't have any technical knowledge of poetry, but I really enjoyed this Mariane. It made me wish I'd had a sister to love and share with. I liked the way it flowed. Well done.
Debbie Wistrom05/12/08
I feel a depth of emotion from the one left behind.

Touching and endearing, this read so well.
Joshua Janoski05/13/08
While I know nothing about writing poetry, I do know a good poem when I see one, and this is nicely written.

I appreciate you sharing this. It was a pleasure to read.
Helen Dowd05/13/08
This brought tears to my eyes--remembering my sister. I wish we had been that close, but we weren't. I was just "Clara's little sister", not her best friend, as was the sis next to her...But I do remember--and your poem reminded me--so many wonderful things. And someday we shall hug again, as you will with your sister....This was a wonderful poem...Thanks, Mariane...Helen.
Chely Roach05/13/08
Simply beautiful...loved it.
Dee Yoder 05/14/08
I'm torn between wanting to go first and wanting to spare my sister the pain of being alone. Very touching and tender.
Beckie Stewart05/14/08
I am not the best with poetry, but this was wonderful and so from the heart. Keep writing.
Deborah Engle 05/14/08
Just great!
Sara Harricharan 05/14/08
This is wonderful! I loved the little stories/memories woven through here-like the apple tree one. Good job! ^_^
Sharlyn Guthrie05/14/08
Another gorgeous poem! This one definitely tugs at the heartstrings.
Linda Watson Owen05/28/08
Oh, dear Mariane, you've once again written a poem that perfectly captures the deepest yearnings of the human heart. I am blessed with a sister in law who married brother when I was only four so she is my 'sister' and I love her dearly. I've often wondered what I'll do if she goes first. You've said it here in a way I never could. Bittersweet and beautiful indeed!