A quick note of explanation: About a year ago, I promised to write my brother a poem. I sent and re-sent and re-re-sent myself a reminder to write it. Finally, on the occasion of his birthday (and even then, a day late!) I've found some words to say to him. Also, I wish I could have added a photo of him and me when I was 13 and he a baby, but all my photos are packed away for our move this week.
I love you, Ryan Anthony Hill. Happy Birthday, brother and friend.
This One’s for You [Ryan]
Even if you didn’t have blonde curls (in later years, too).
Even if you didn’t have a crooner's singing voice,
or dance with John Travolta's swing hips
those slow Saturday evenings you shook up the groove,
it gladdens me, your life a God-sent gift;
for we were a half-torn page and you were the glue.
Thirteen years difference between we two.
Sometimes it hardly matters. I’ve decided to befriend you,
Rob, little brother to the Austins —
or is it the story with Charles Wallace?
Who cares? You remind me of him
too. Some brother watched me age, seriousness in his kind eyes,
said God bless you. And prayed, God bless me, too.
Sibling suspension: my own children grew.
Meaning: I spared too little time for you
any hour past bedtime,
and almost anytime I had too much to do.
Consider this, too: gathering back, after a spell,
to someplace we could call home, you usually, well, always
mutter a wisecrack so laughable, I crack up on cue.
What steady arrows you shoot, Ryan, become
a brother of the heart: you whisper
sister, help me navigate
and we do. Who am I talking to?
What is this rare connect, this juxtapose that always feels true?
Sometimes you say something like loo-loo, foo-foo,
and it sounds like laugh/dance/pray. That’s why this one’s for you.