I asked for 40 winks more, but she
had her way with me, as she always does.
Don't argue with the muse: "The ***** is always right,"
my brother would say in disgust about his third,
and final wife. He's the guy who walked me
down the aisle in a crowded church,
and gave me as wife to his best friend, in lieu
of a father, gone too soon. "I wish Daddy
didn't die," he said, a grown man on the telephone
in one of his late night phone calls, where I
sat huddled in a blanket on the floor, listening
to the lost child he would always be.
He wore pinstripe gray on my wedding day,
preempting the famous "Hucklebuck" as we
christened the funky turquoise suit
that lit up his blue eyes and golden Greek-
god hair. He was the baby brother I raised
after our mother left, leaving him back-
stroking, forever seeking Jesus love
in a sea of imperfect women.
Ever the renegade, he took his married sister
to his Senior Prom to whispers
of impropriety, and glares from pretty girls
who might have been his date. I was
the big sister, glamourous in the simple,
black moire' gown our aunt had made to take
my freshman year at college by storm.
Oh Yes! Brother above reproaches,
gone ten years as your birthday approaches,
I call (no area code needed) to say,
in the 28 minutes it took to write this poem,
maybe less than the time it takes to birth
a baby, 'dare a la luz', red and screaming
in his brand-new birthday suit, Poetry
and you, brother, were labors of love. You:
the most beautiful boy in the world.