The First to Leave

Jordyn Dwyer

Why did they get to watch you grow up?

Why were we left to bear your absence?

I will always wonder, what if

I could have called you sister for longer?

I loved you, but I don’t

I love the girl that I looked up to,

who I wanted to be.


You saved me from drowning once,

pulling me out of that dam,

but when you left, I swear

I fell back in.

Why did they get to watch you become a woman

and I got to watch you leave?


I know you were young.

I can’t blame you,

I don’t.

But I can’t help but wonder,

what if I got to be there

when you blew out those candles?

Received your certificate.

Learned how to drive.

Learned how to love.


Why did I have to miss out

on getting to watch you grow?

The petty me would say ‘they stole you away’

but were you ever mine?

You never came back,

never reached out.

And I didn’t either.


That’s where you left me.

Where your presence lingers.

I try to remember those years

where I didn’t know resets.

Where I knew love was fleeting,

but didn’t know family was.


I wrote you a poem,

A while back now.

We loved each other,

In a storm season that rarely calmed.

We sheltered together, naïve to think

we were protected from harm.

But when the clouds prevailed,

the damage was exposed.

And without a roof

we had no home.

You packed your things,

and with the wind, you blew away.

And we were left in the aftermath: of the storm,

of you,

where only the memory of you lingered.


And now you’re gone, I’m left to wonder,

what if I was someone in your crowd,

someone to hug you when you were sad?

And I wish that so much more now.

I loved you

but I don’t know you.

I loved my sister

but she’s gone.

Author: Based in Brisbane, Jordyn Dwyer (she/her) is an aspiring writer, currently studying Creative Writing through a Fine Arts degree at QUT. She is a deeply passionate and creative person, who has the dreams of becoming a published writer as well as, becoming a journalist for BBC Earth.

Artist: Yongzheng Wang is a visual arts student from China, currently studying at QUT and living in Brisbane, specialising in traditional painting such as classical oil painting and academic sketching. While studying art in China, he won a first prize in landscape drawing in institute. He is fluent in Chinese, French, English and Italian and has a good knowledge of Western art theory.

Editors: Jasmine Tait, Willow Ward, and Hannah Vesey