During a recent visit with my younger brother and his family, it was pointed out that I had not included any photo or story of him in a family journal I created for my children years ago. This was a grave oversight.
An oversight I can only explain by the fact that those childhood memories, or the ones that I recorded, happened in my early childhood. Up until the time I was about 10-years-old. My brother, seven years younger, just didn’t figure into those times.
Later, when he was a young child, I was gone, having left home at 14. Now, I am perfectly aware that this is all just talk. So instead, I decided to try and make amends by creating this collage and writing him a poem.
The boy in the collage reminds me of my brother. I imagine the boy has been asked by an older brother to take his bicycle and put it into the garage. The boy is too small to ride the bicycle, but pride and excitement allow him to skim over the ground faster than any bicycle could.
(If you look closely, both his feet and one of the wheels are off the ground.)
We grew up in two different epochs.
Where those sitting at our family table
Varied in numbers and vulnerability.
You, with your joyous youthful naivety,
Were able to run light foot over ground,
Not once touching that precarious surface
Vibrating with its undercurrents of
Disgruntled teenager murmurings and
Old people’s loud whisperings,
“The times are changing. The end is near.”
Your world was filled instead with a
Giant imagination that transformed
All our adult pettiness into something noble
And worth worshipping, though we were
Not the heroes we could have been.
Should have been. The ones you deserved.