Tuesday, June 22, 2010


And as easy as saying,
“Pass the salt,”
She says to my son-in-law
About my brother, long
Estranged, “I guess you
Could say he’s a real loser.”

Years fall away
And I picture that little boy
He is curled up on the steps
Head on knees, sobbing

Somebody else beat him up
At recess, called him stupid
Stole his good shoes—again

He is not yet ten years old
But he wants to die, he says
Nobody loves him, he sobs

I do, I tell him, I do

When did I stop telling him,
I wonder—

When did he decide for good
And all, he was a loser

When did I let him go ...
I shudder as I speculate
About how likely it is
those events
are all connected ...

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