Watching you grow up

by Cyndi Yuska

I fell in love with your

sweet little cheeks

and the hugs

you gave so freely

to your favorite

little aunt.

You two are only

nine and

ten years younger than I;

We grew up

as sisters, neighbors.


Do you remember when you were just


(I was practically a baby, too)

We swam every single day

in the backyard pool,

Caitlin, you told such wild

stories then, of candy and marriage,

and flowers and tomorrows - all while standing

atop a ladder, daring water to

come your way, screaming

if it touched the bottom

of your skirted

bikini suit.

Kelsey, you swam like a little freshwater fish,

still covered in baby chub,

my little honey doll.

We swam in the Allegheny at the cabin, too -

Caitlin we forced your little

prissy butt

into the water this time.

And we played all day sometimes,

never changing from our suits -

If we had to pee

we did it in the river -

that's what Pap-Pap, who you never met,

taght me.

Kelsey, one day you lost your sweet little self,

threw a fit and ransacked

my closet. I'll always remember

how much you seemed

like Caitlin!

Caitlin was my

bitching buddy

we made everyone else's life

hell. Do you think they'll remember us

for anything else?

Why would they?

We're proud of who we've been.

There was the day we found out you were


I clung to you, your tiny

arms grasping at my fourteen year old


But they pulled


away from


And you've grown.

And things changed.

And it's been six years.

And I thought I'd lost you

Lost the passion we'd shared

the fun we'd had

the years spent stealing candy

sharing secrets

sneaking over for aunt/niece visits

But it's been six years.

And we're still here

Farther apart than ever

Yet never closer in heart.

I'm still in love

with your sweet little cheeks

your wide eyes

your pure hearts.

your sarcastic little preteen mouths.

I may be far away,

and you may be getting big,

but forever

I will love you,

my babies.