To grieve is to analyze, fret over, and regret the things you wished had happened and the future that will never be. When my brother passed away, my mind was a cyclone of plus pulses and agonizing agitation. Unable to calm the fire-flaming dragon within, I picked up my pen and wrote myself out of the crippling pain and into the light again.
What were you thinking as you slept unaware?
Ungranted wishes? Unanswered prayers?
Did you hear our sister sobbing when you gently pumped her hand?
And the song.
Did you like the way I sang for you You’ll Never Walk Alone again?
Not a twitch. Not a flinch. Not a sigh. Not a single word as I began to cry
I lit a candle
I uttered a prayer
I imagined emerald pastures with blades of grass
Soft as shantung silk
A velvet ribboned robin’s nest
Upon which your head might rest
A Camelot, a Brigadoon, a world shaken free of gloom
Where Palos Verde Blue dazzling with morning dew
And Violetears of illustrious hue feast on Hibiscus, Lantanas
Columbine, and Eucalyptus too
In which of the five languages you mastered
Were your final thoughts that night?
Did you genuflect and sign the cross and pray Commendation rite?
Your high expectations few could reach
I fought against your brother-preach
Demanding summer attitude
You commanded with winter fortitude
Spring and autumn were unreliable
They could never tow your line
Garnered negative ambiguity
Life challenged your scholarly equity
So, you shaved the cord of generosity
But never snipped the twine
One running North
One running South
Your unacceptance of the path I chose
Spoiled what might have been
Duplicity I cannot forget
But memories gilded rich
Has mellowed my posture proud
Disengaging prejudice never spoke, not even once, out loud
Eight years my senior, you to me
We sailed through artistic history
Down each museum corridor we bowed before miracles I still adore
From front row center or balcony
We gorged on Theatre divine
Nibbled gleefully on cinematic royalty inspiring for its time
Ancient literature you presented fresh
I, an eager pup, devoured by the hour
Chekhov, Fitzgerald, James, and Flaubert
Their words tattooed on my gratitude
Two brothers, we, from a family soaked in resentment sour
We mastered language beautiful to compensate the dour
Agonizingly, your animosity
Stripped bare, the lilac’s fragrant power
Inheritance, by providence knotted
I’ll unraveled not
Nor relinquish wailing want
For reminisces remorseful
From kindling, severed, split, and spiked
Reconciliation from the ashes grew
The deprivation of separation
Is only time struck dumb
If strumming joyous melodies stings sharp the heartfelt memories
Then gratefully the pain of consequence
Monogrammed on your brand
I’ll suffer sad without shame
The unbridled love
I am loath to tame