I wrote this poem ten years ago, inspired by the photograph above of me and my brother taken in 1978.
My bright red coat stands out from the darkness
Dry bushes and thin trees
As if they can only withstand a slight burden.
My younger brother faces the camera
Wearing a ski mask
His left foot slightly behind, slightly raised
I am facing him with my right hand out.
I’m trying to give him something,
Or reaching out to hold him.
Do I want to show him something?
Twenty-five years later,
On this earth,
He is buried below the ground
Beneath the trees,
Quiet and alone.
Sometimes I wonder if he can reach me
Push his soul through invisible boundaries
And hold out his right hand
To show me something
While I wander through silent snow.
This poem was written by Courtney in 1994, later in the year after Brian passed away.
The four of us danced in and out of time
Sharing our souls over cheap wine and cheeseburgers
We walked on barefeet down the highway in August
And sneaked cigarettes talking about
What kind of animals we would be if we were
The floods came and the dance grew into a frenzy
The new pumphouse gang dispersed
We dressed in black and borrowed clothes
And aged twenty years in four days
And realized that we were joined for all of time
By the sounds of crickets chirping at night
Marco Polo, board games, and bad movies
Now an angel watches over us
And he smiles because he knows
That we have learned that doritos
Are truly fun to eat with your friends
I will always miss him.