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I am the oldest of five. But my step-mother refuses to acknowledge me as a member of the family.

I find out about family events through the grapevine. But I am never invited nor welcome to attend.

I try to keep up a a somewhat timid correspondence with my natural father via email. I remind him to wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday, lest he forgot he fathered me.

I am tired of being silent.

This is me, screaming:

“I am the secret sister.

The unacknowledged daughter.

The shadow in the absent chair.

The silence of their invisible glare

squelches the query

‘Why, am I not there?’

How I even came to be

Shall remain a mystery.

Even to me, even to me.”

If you are out there, Katy H****, know that your big sister wishes you the best on your wedding day. Perhaps, someday we shall meet.