West Side Story, My Brothers, Mother and Me

Written by: James Gibbons

I cried for them this afternoon
Knew them since the matinee started
Saw them fall in love
At first sight, the world stopped
Everything was silent at the sight of it
They looked and were lovers
Later that day on their knees
Repeating vows that till today
They saw only in throw away plays
I cried for them, their lost love
But not for mother whose long life ended
By the Yankee Sluggers creeping disease
What was there to cry about?
As the blue ice calved from glacier slabs
Creased iron plates, made orphans, widows
And most aboard but not me or my mother
Or the yet unborn twice told tale
Tony was told she died, frantic with fear
He called out for her but got Chino instead
Saw her running to him, delirious with fear and joy
He got a bullet instead, tearing threw his back
Breaking his heart in half he fell into her arms
She covered his face with kisses and tears
And I too wept again for what could have been
What should have been for mother, died without my tears                                   
For I knew not how to give!
Instead to those I gave tears so freely
But I knew them since the matinee started
Who cried for my three brothers
Charley, like Marley dragged his chains around
And spent a life time sawing them off, Michael who fell
From heaven one day, curly hair and welcoming smile
Orphaned by mother who just gave him away
Brain dead one day in June, the rest followed six months to the day
Brother Tom, large lonesome eyes never saw what the world wondered.                             Water boarded at age five, he left and never returned
Last month got cancer and died exactly one month later.
I cried today for the matinee lovers,
When I should have cried for them.