Brother

  • It was a kiss on the go, I was leaving. Back to college for the semester.
  • Your cheek rough with acne, the small blond hairs on your chin just sprouting.
  • I didn’t know then how important that kiss was.
  • How I would remember it my whole life.
  • After our hearts were broken, crying still in this sad room, after all these years.
  • After all the poems and the long, dark journals. And why shouldn’t I cry?
  • The so-called experts say it’s not right to grieve for more than a year.
  • I say bullshit.
  • Maybe they haven’t lost a younger brother. Maybe no one they love has been killed by a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road.
  • I sometimes think there is nothing left to write about, Tom. But something always comes.
  • It was 1981. I kissed you on the cheek as I left your small room, surprised myself
  • when I told you, my little brother, that I loved you.

The poet Marg Wafer grew up in Rochester, New York, and married her husband David nine years ago at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. She is a lover of the natural world and a sports fan and has been a physical therapist for the past 30 years. Her poems have been published in Muddy River Poetry Review, Citiworks, NAMI Journal, and Serving House Journal, among other publications. She has published two chapbooks: No Shortcuts and, more recently, Firmly in Mid-Air, in which collection the poem “Brother” appears.

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