Not an angel on earth,
but a stealer of pens, eater of others' dinners.
Not able to sing or talk,
but you could give your emotions voice,
treating to grumbles like mumbled dialogue
someone who held you that you just didn't like.
Not dressed in immaculate white,
but in brown and gray with tiger stripes.
way too slim,
no matter what we did.
You strolled through the house like a shambling cowboy for twelve years,
no guardian here.
Every day in those dull days,
you made me laugh and gave me something to hold onto.
When the day came that you needed me
I don't know if what I did was right,
if I had to bow down to the inevitable.
An angel would say yes.
But you weren't an angel.
I still think of you with laughter
and with a remorse ever-weighing and wavering
that I never thought there'd be when we were young
and what had happened, hadn't happened.
One day, I found one of your strange, tri-colored hairs
in my first art history book,
stuck in the binding, diagonal from the bust of Nefertiti.
I held it like a relic
between my fingers.
I placed it in a small plastic bag
that now hangs from my jewlery holder,
surrounded by gold.