Umbrage

Poem by A.E. Stallings

Persistent little sister
Always tagging along,
Aping your every gesture
Though getting the angle wrong,
 
Effacing, very thin,
Born when you were born,
A kind of grim twin
Never to be torn
 
Away, cooler and darker,
Always underfoot,
Impermanent magic marker
That won’t stay put—
 
On bright days she appears
A fair-weather friend,
But she’s dragged you through the years,
Faithful to the end:
 
She’s nobody’s lover or wife,
She was never the pretty one;
She clings to you, though all your life
You’ve been standing in her sun.
 

American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2010, Volume 27, Number 2