I look stubbornly undecided
I’m the one who
            came first
            made the first blunders
            tested everyone’s patience
            made you decide
                        you’d never
                        be like
                        me
If it hadn’t been me, you’d
Be that lonely, stubborn one
At the front.

You find much to criticize
You say I
            worry too much
            am too nosy
            don’t understand
                        sometimes you
                        won’t talk to
                        me
But somehow you
Seem reassured that I
Can read between the lines.

You compare yourself to me
You see in me my
            faults
            blunders
            incongruities
            hypocrisies
                        you point
                        them out to
                        me
Why do you somehow
Think you lose
In the comparison?


You’re hard of hearing
Sometimes even my best words
            cut like swords
            tear you up
            criticize
                        even when I
                        want to soothe
                        you
You have helped me learn to speak more often
The good that others may not see in you
The you I know and love


You’ll pass me up—in height and stature
I want to
            Make You Stronger
            Build You UP
            Cheer For You
            Help You See
                        You’re So Very
                        Different From
                        Me
And different is good
I need you in my life as you
Need me.


I’ll gladly be the First
Prouder of
            who you are and
            who you’ll be
Than of what I am

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