Above all, I remember your purple toes–
a sign of the dead end you were approaching.
The seasoned nurse lifted the sheets
and showed me your long suffering digits
that used to bruise from toe shoes
in dance lessons in pink with ribbons.
Swollen and left behind, no longer required
to spin or point in first position.
Sister, I should have stayed beside you.
But your last anguish and your empty shoes
were more than I could bear to remember.