Wanting A Second Chance

My neighbor told me this when
at the mailbox we happened to meet.
He had gotten himself ‘in the doghouse’
with his wife this past week.

His wife and her older sister had
a falling-out some years ago
over something important then,
now the reason neither did know.

Only a couple of months back,
his wife’s sister had given her a call
wishing to resume friendly relations,
but his wife refused to talk with her at all.

This week my neighbor answered the phone.
After talking a while, he turned to his wife,
“Your sister has died. Her last regret was that
you didn’t make up before the end of her life.”

His grief-stricken wife broke down, wailing and sobbing.
She was filled with remorse for not
talking to her sister, healing their wounds. She’d thought
there was always time for that - now there was not.

What a fool she had been! If only she hadn’t
been too stubborn to talk to her sister.
She’d feel regret and guilt all of her life. Oh Lord,
how much she wished she could talk to her sister!

That’s when my neighbor angered his wife
by saying “This is your sister calling you again.
She’s alive. I told you she was dead just to make you
think. Now you realize how very foolish you've been.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      1.30.02