Tuesday, June 02, 2009

POEM: Brother

Have I told you how the gentleness dances in your eyes?
How the fire bobs freely in your wavy hair?
How the flecks of "welcome" spackle the brillo of your beard?

How was it that you were spirited away from me? At birth?
What angel stole you?
How could we not have noticed?
Like Disciples on the road to Emmaus,
Weren't our hearts burning all this time?
In breaking bread? In stories we shared, and what was said?

You have stood in my shadows.
I shall stand in yours, too,
Though we have signed no blood oath
As young boys sometimes do,
We did not spit into our hands and slap our palms,
And agree to the mischievous deeds by which boys are often recognized.

No,
The contract is written onto the fleshy parchment of our hearts.
Notarized by a painful hill-climb on a bicycle,
By the hole our fathers left in us,
By what we hope to add to the dreams of our children,
By the breadth and height and width of everything that we love.

You are a gift without my wanting,
You are the target for which I aim with squint eye cocked,
Slant head bent,
You are God’s bow and I am the arrow sent.

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