Reflections of a Wedding

for my big sister

Poetry by Brenna Dean

I choked back a sob as I tapped my bridesmaid’s speech
onto my phone’s screen, caught between each redefined
notion of our family, who nurtures the estrangement gene.
But you are a constant, big sister.

You were Mom when Mom began a part-time job,
still recovering from Dad’s first lay-off.
You, queen of the gourmet scrambled egg
after your first time using the stove, soon to conquer the crepe.
And you, chronically late, scared to get a driver’s license
before 21, just like I was. You, Tumblr kid

who introduced me to all my favorite TV, a guide
to Hot Topic’s t-shirt wall when I was too shy to go alone. You,
playing Chuzzle on an overheated PC after school, a game
now downloaded onto your phone. You, 13,
the sarcasm that I began to use as a
defense, my mechanism, and you Nirvana, Foos,

you Blink-182 that soundtracked every sun-
lit road trip back when we had a family to drive to.
You were fearless –
you surprising – when once you brought a
boy home, and he left me Swedish fish
and a note on my 11th birthday. He, a weathered brown Bronco
picking us up from work and school,
and he, lessons on the alto sax when I was 12,
dislocated pinkies during his rugby match,
he, watching Constantine and A Knight’s Tale
with Mom and me, on break from law school.
He, at my piano recital in the chair where Grandma used to sit,
the big brother I thought I’d missed – my brother
even before he gave his vows to you,
big sis.

About the Author:

Brenna Dean (Poetry) is a senior studying English, Cinema Studies, and Creative Writing. Her work often explores themes involving the environment, family, friendship, and mental health struggles. Brenna loves writing short fiction and poetry, exploring nature centers, pet sitting for her family, and going to far too many concerts with her best friend. In her spare time, she also enjoys jewelry making, sewing, and crocheting. She is looking forward to joining CMU’s creative writing master’s program soon.

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