Emma and Annie Wilson...... as alike as two little peas.
People would say 'Which one is which? Can you tell us please?'
When they were born the midwife said 'It's utterly uncanny!
There isn't the slightest difference between little Emma and Annie!'
Both with dimples and red hair, both with bouncing curls;
People would often marvel at the two identical girls.
At school they had a lot of fun, playing silly games;
Getting the other girls to guess which were their right names!
They grew into very gorgeous girls, tall and slim and charming,
With a lovely way about them, which people found disarming.
Frederick Mason certainly found the two of them entrancing;
He met them at a local ball where everyone watched them dancing.
Indeed, they were so graceful, so lissom and so sweet
That Frederick Mason found that he was swept right off his feet!
But which twin should he aim for, when both were so divine?
'Which twin' thought Frederick Mason, 'Is the one I shall make mine?'
As luck would have it he'd noticed a small mole behind Emma's ear!
'I'll make a play for Emma and make my intentions clear.'
Now Emma and Annie were so alike that their affections were the same;
Both had fallen for Frederick and longed to make a claim.
Annie was heartbroken when Frederick favoured Emma;
In fact I'd have to say she was on the horns of a dilemma.
One night, in their double bed, planning the wedding day
Emma and Annie lay side by side, in their normal friendly way.
When, suddenly, Annie could take no more! It hadn't been contemplated!
But she suddenly grabbed a pillow and poor Emma was suffocated!
When Annie looked at her lifeless twin her heart broke right in two!
'Emma! Emma!' she wept and wailed; 'I can't live without you!
You've been my other half so long I can't go on alone!'
And she began to tear her hair, and scream and cry and moan.
The window was propped open. With one last hopeless shout,
Annie staggered to the window and then threw herself out!
When the servants came in the morning, this is what they found.....
Emma lifeless in her bed; Annie lifeless on the ground.
The funeral of the lovely twins was the talk of all the town.
As for Frederick Mason....he married Sarah Brown!
The book-years were so full of 'stuff',
Never, never time enough,
Children, work, and some duress,
Always wanting to progress.
Those years seem rather dog-eared now,
Condensed versions anyhow.
Some are tattered, best unread,
Some live on inside my head.
Well-thumbed pages, part-torn covers,
Remembered friends, forgotten lovers....
All a sort of jumble, really
That I can't remember clearly.
But, oh the BOOKENDS! They're what counts!
Life, in glorious amounts.
On the left there is the child,
Laughing free and running wild.
A girl with all the world before her;
Expecting people to adore her.
Sure and certain life would be
A great and glorious fantasy.
And, on the right, the end result,
Which often makes my heart exult.
To near the end a child again
Almost as I was back then!
Free from all those careworn pages
That seemed to mark my 'middle-ages'!
Second-childhood? Here's a child
Still 'laughing free and running wild'!
Freed from rules and obligations,
Surrounded by my dear relations,
Yes, my friends, it seems to me
A 'Bookend' is the thing to be!