For Penny

I think of you,
my sister lost to me.
I wonder
at your arrival.
What did our mother wear?
Was her hair matted against her brow?
And when she saw you,
did she gather you into her arms?
Could she love you for a moment, 
a singular moment when
she looked to you to breathe, 
to cry?
But there was nothing.
A life cut short too soon.
I cannot ask, for this is not my mourning.
But still I feel it.
A soft keening in the night hours.
She mourns you still
with her unacceptable anguish.
I feel it too, but lesser of course.
For with you, there could be no me
And so in a way I am grateful.