Poetry from Lauren Ainslie

Wild Children


We were all one before.

No mother

no father

just brother and sister.

We were the Wild Children

who climbed on back steps from balconies

and snatched at butterflies.



Too young to understand she and I

did not notice our brothers were drifting apart.

Did not notice that laughs now had weight

and clothes were no longer passed around like currency.

Age was unreal to us

but to them age mattered—

one was older than the other.



We are not the Wild Children anymore.

Instead wild sisters.

Older brothers left ice cream and trees for darkened smiles.

That family is only remembered when

we lightly touch hands and remember in whispers,

pretending the butterflies are above our heads instead of in our eyes

and we nod because we only ever knew the goodness of it.