Friday, February 20, 2009

Big.Brother's.Shadow. (For Michael)

On February 22, 1999, my older brother Michael passed away in an automobile accident. It's amazing to me how something that happened 10 years ago still has a way of being a sensitive area for me and my family.
But God is so sovereign because it was through my brother's passing that I found poetry...which isn't just a hobby to me, or a talent I claim to have...but it is a way I worship my Father. And whether or not anyone cares or clamors to read a word I care to write, it is a gift that I was given to express the deepest pain one can experience: grief.

So, I write.
And every year around this time, I write something for him. About him.
So that I can rest in the fact that he is still missed...and not forgotten.
I can sit with most anyone and tell you about Mike, if given the time...
But there are only two things that are essential at the moment for you to know:
He was my big brother, and I loved him.

Smiles and
Bright eyes.
I regard my youth with
With a bit of fondness
Because I had you.

I followed you closely…fascinated,
Because your manner
Hinted at a strength outside
Your years…
…and inconsistent with your “kool-aid” socks
And high-top fades.

Big brother’s shadow.
Never leaving your side
Unless the sun was down.
[Your bedtime was later than mine.]

And high-fives.
I hated dresses
And itchy tights in my youth
Because I had you.

I mimicked you faithfully
Through basketball jerseys,
Blasting my Outkast cassette tape,
To mastering the final level of
Super Mario Brothers…

I was
Big brother’s shadow.
I wanted to be great,
Just like you.

And broken hearts.
I learned of love early
In my youth
Because I had you.

You showed me unintentionally
What a man is and isn’t
Meant to be.
From sneaking peeks into that little black book,
Finding dirty letters in the laundry piles,
To your care for probable offspring…

I miss being
Big brother’s shadow.
Where I found safety
To openly abandon myself in innocence,
And a growing hope
On which to gaze and glean from...