Friday, June 19, 2009

POEM: the same thread (for my brother)

I climb out of bed
the same way every morning
disentangling myself
carefully, gently
from between my two children
each has their side of me

I look back at the bed
as I do every day
and feel the warmth overtake
my heart, glowing
their sweet faces soft with sleep

When I check on them
from time to time
until they wake
I see that they have gravitated
towards one another
becoming a tender tangle of just two
an intricate weave

Throughout the day I am often
touched, elated, proud
by the way they love each other
they are inseparable
Meggie, my little mother
wanting to make him smile
playful and creative
Daniel, joyful, exuberant, demanding
adoring her, emulating her
there are squabbles but never fights
they forgive each other easily
each wants for the other to be happy
a gift for a mother’s heart

I think of my own little brother
our wicked fights, animosity
not our fault
competing for the meager scraps
the weak strands of our parents love
scattered fragments of normalcy
there were moments of sharing
of a sibling bond
but they were few, thin
stretched beyond capacity

Grown now, no longer so little
towering over me, a man with his own children
he called when he found out I had cancer
His voice broke, “Sis, I know…I love you”
and we cried for a moment, wordless

I was reminded of when he called me to say
our father had died, unexpectedly
a man I hadn’t spoken to in years
who never knew my children
but for whom my brother still reached out for
despite everything

I said with tears in my eyes,
“David, I am so sorry for your loss.”
because for him it was a fresh wound
mine had healed long ago
mended with tightly woven mesh

It seems human bonds are always tangled
some create a strong tapestry
beautiful fabric tightly woven
and others are threadbare, worn
with gaping holes beyond patching
but both are still tied together
by the same thread
never to be unraveled

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