Roommates in womb stay linked together.
More than a mother, we sense each other's needs.
Voices match pitch exactly, on or off tune.
Laughter bursts out together while others squirm.
Live-in friends never attend ball games alone.
Yet we find no easy open space for growing,
With hair, interests or a voice that's all our own.
Perfect strangers gather, pounce to join us,
then tear apart in pointing out each minute difference:
crooked smile, rising eyebrow, tiny moles, smallest pounds.
Fleeing from the self devouring competition,
we seek college, friends, jobs, cities far apart.
Yet the gift of sister soulmate is not one to shelve forever.
So through middle years of babies, cancer, birthdays,
We'll reopen to discover new old treasures of a twin.
From A First Book of Poems
Dedicated to Mom, Christmas 1996