Dear Brother

by crisrizz

My brother and I.
Cancun, 1993

Dear brother,
do you remember childhood?
It was an after-school afternoon.
It was sunlight filtered through a sheet of ice,
a slice of March,
breathless
Earth beneath our boots,
the pirouette of
willow branches, a still show of pine trees
painting patterns in the sky.
The cold arms of a concrete bridge.
We walked home from school,
dangling our wooden feet over
the shallow creek.
You smiled your wide, genuine smile,
a semi-sundial of innocence,
Pinocchio waiting to come to life.
A crooked-eyed puppet
carved from confidence, self-delusion,
a crippled marionette.
Trapped
in the game of fox and cat,
you crept towards murky waters
only to be
swallowed
by a shark.
And I stayed on the bridge,
playing in your shadow,
watching your smile fade away,
shaded by the sun.
The willow tree wept for you,
shedding fluttering tears of
almond-shaped leaves.

*This poem was originally published in The Music Makers by Cristina Rizzuto (Blaurock Press, 2012)

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