His former sister-in-law has got out
Of her assisted-care facility,
Has stopped taking meds and started to send
Random rambling ranting emails again.
This one she’s titled Unnecessary
Wedding Picture. Attached is a blurry,
Over-saturated image copied
From a photograph on film of his wife,
His late wife, alone on their wedding day.
He recalled taking that picture himself,
Just before their private ceremony.
Why did you marry her? Why? Why did she
Have this totally unnecessary
Wedding? She’s dead because she married you!
She had loved this schizophrenic sister
Better than the rest of the family.
Fourteen years after her death, this sister,
Whose mind is a prison of causation,
Everything inexplicably gone wrong,
Saturated with meaning and menace,
Which is hardly different from the rest
Of human minds, only more poorly framed,
More lurid, more sorely lacking context,
Has found a focus in one sister’s death,
Not in any of those other losses—
The mother she’d lived with most of her life,
Her own briefly splendid young womanhood,
Decades now she can faintly remember—
Late father, late brothers—just this sister,
Her little sister, the one who loved her,
Who married a stranger who’s still out there,
Refusing to acknowledge her letters.