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Posts Tagged ‘brother’

 

 

 

And after the boy

hugs his sister

and tells her

she did a great job,

 

after he wipes

her tears and holds

her and wraps her

in his awkward arms,

 

after she leans

into him, their

sapling trunks

sloping toward

 

each other,

I want to tell him

how proud I am

of the ways

 

he is growing,

want to affirm

how much depends

on love, want

 

to say I see his tenderness,

but the soil beneath

them is unstable,

precious, and my voice

 

is full of heavy clouds,

so I wait until

they sway apart,

then I walk closer

 

and manage to say

through invisible rain,

It’s time.

Let’s go home.

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There was a time when I’d pull his hair out

if he sat too close to me on the couch.

Now, I curl into his right side,

lean my head on his shoulder,

feel the trembling of his chest

as he weeps. How good it feels

to be close to him as we grieve.

How familiar, the shape of his head,

the heft of his hand as he reaches for mine.

How deeply right, this leaning

into sorrow together.

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that Sunday afternoon in Madison

when we went to brunch, then found our seats

in the theater where the French Revolution

is waging again and a man falls in love

and the woman dies and her daughter is horribly

enslaved, and my brother, a bear of a man,

the heavyweight champion wrestler who

routinely pinned behemoths to their backs

and threw keggers to “make me clean

the floors,” my brother beside me

cried enough tears for the whole globe,

a lightning rod for sorrow, as if his heart

were big enough to take on the burdens

of the whole world, how I loved him then,

his face radiant and glistening,

both of us weeping near to heaving

and holding each other’s hands, smiling
at each other in the dim light, both of us

seeing ourselves as the other as the players

built a barricade and all our walls fell down.

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Easter Magic

 

 

 

There were years

when the Easter Bunny

set out a wrench and a flashlight

beside the baskets—remember,

brother, the pleasure we took

in the hiding and finding

long after the years of believing

in magic were over?

Eggs we floated in plastic bags

in the backs of the toilet.

Eggs duct taped to the inside

of the chimney flue. Eggs

in the vents, inside the piano,

we delighted in what a bit of invention

could do. Tonight I walked out

of the house after dinner

to take the recycling up to the road,

and there, to the west, an outpouring

of light made me stop and stare

and inwardly, sweetly erode.

In a world so bent, I sometimes forget

that the magic is always

inside us. We have all the tools

that we need. All we need to do

is keep trying to find it.

 

 

 

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For Christmas, I want to buy you the softest green
shirt, green the color of Wisconsin in springtime,
so green we could almost fall into the color
and find ourselves running once more to the lake,
cane poles in hand, to see if the fish are biting.
Or we might find ourselves in the dark green woods
behind the neighbor’s house where we used to dig
in the old junk yard for shards of blue and white porcelain.

But green is my favorite color, not yours. And those days
of running down the great grassy hill are gone, are gone
and faded. You like blue. Forgive me, brother, for buying
you again for Christmas another green shirt. Oh hush,
can you hear them, the cicadas, trilling through the leaves
of the old willow tree, serenading the warm summer night?

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