They Are

Ten years old,

bushy-haired and bright,

full of endless fluidity 

from her years of practiced dance


A little butterball of seven

with an angel's face,

a devil's sharp tongue,

and a troublesome demeanor


Nearly four now,

words like "aspergers" seem

meaningless as he displays behaviors

well above his years


Horrible threes a have

never been so real

and swear words have

never sounded so adorable


At two, the smallest and the smartest

speaks like his brother

and plots like his 

trickster of a cousin


The faces of my sister's children

are more than just

pictures in my wallet

or seconds on my Snapchat story


They are the sliver of light

when everything else seems dark

They are the giggles

through the tears


They are the frustrated tears 

over reading homework

and the accomplished tears

when they've said all the words right


They are everything I wasn't

and everything I still aspire to be




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