It's easy to forget about siblings dead and gone
and childhood days spent writing on balloons;
green
red
and blue; spelling out my grief in permanent marker
spirals around the rubber and helium.
I was told to let go of the strings,
and I watched the balloons chase each other
through the trees until they were caught by the wind and blown up into Heaven,
where my mother said our sister would find them
and God would read them to her.

Year after year the colors fade from view
and my family walks back to the car.
That drive home always felt longer than it should have.

Even now, I find that all I'm staring at this year is a headstone
surrounded by freshly cut grass;
pink flowers on the grave the only remnant
of a girl who lived her full ten days before I ever knew her name.