Friday, May 10, 2013

To my Brother on his 30th Birthday

I had a tradition of writing a poem* to my brother, Jasper, every year on his birthday and threw it into the nearest and largest body of water I could find. The act reminded me that we were still connected even with the small magic of breath separating us. I wanted him to know the ways he was still with me.

For many years, the birthday poem was the only creative writing I did. I don't remember when I stopped and, now, for Jasper's 30th birthday, let's start again:
 
To my Brother on his 30th Birthday

Remember when we were pulled over
three times: once for speeding and three for a
missing headlight?

We laughed so much.

I still laugh when I see red and blue
reflections on the highway.
I smile at smashed up cars
because you are on the side of the road
sorting out where everyone is to go

My passenger seat is never empty.

You sit beside me in the dark
Because you know I don't like
Driving in the rain at night
On a black road
Or really like driving at all.

I know you've been here

When I wake up in the morning
with wobbly guts from a bear hug
and when that damn elephant
sits on my chest and I can't breathe.
You squeeze so tight.

My hugs aren't from me at all.
They come directly from you.

*Thank you to Carrie, my psudo-sister and self-professed brother's best friend, for reminding me of tradition, and how often Jasper shows up when we least expect it.

Who do you write to? Where to they show up inside of you?