Its unreal,
she says,
reaching forward
to pick the flower
but I pull her back
from the perfect red bud
but not before
the blood runs down her hand
from the thorns.

They're protected,
I explain,
pouring some of my
bottled water
over the 5-year-old's hand.
She cringed at the feeling
then looked into my eyes
her gaze wondering.

I put on a glove
and pull out the rose
just far enough
so she can see the thorns
she reminded me of myself
10 years ago
when I was a 5-year old
in my cousin's garden
now my sister
seemed to show
the same intrest
as I did
seeing the beauty
of the flowers
the morning glories
of the day
and the moonflowers
of the night.

I wish mommy could see this,
she said suddenly
and I sighed.

Our mother
never had time for her
and I have been raising her.

But I knew in my heart
that my sister would be
a better person than I am
and ever will be
because I won't make the mistakes
of not cleaning her wounds
when she cuts her hand on a thorn
I will be there
unlike my mother
who wasn't there for me.