Monday, March 24, 2014

A Chronology of Paying Attention (12): we were a page half-torn, my brother was the glue

*I first wrote this post on the occasion of my brother's birthday, May 2013.*

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.
In this season that I do not have time to write, this is the idea God gave me:  For me to ponder and notice again the words I've already written once, to keep praying the beads of memory to discover this sacramental life.

Won't you join me?  
I'd welcome your company along the way.
Do you have a favorite memory of your sibling?

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