cycle of life

brother

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I can’t imagine how puzzled
my mom must feel
to have outlived her son.

Her precious dark-haired boy,
the big one
at age 2,
meant to look after his blond
blue-eyed brother,
then curly haired
little sister,

then me, the squealing surprise package
when he
was 11.

Maybe he should have been
the baby
for a little longer,
caretaker that he was.

Never could stand
to see anyone cry, always
the one to say “It’s okay.”

I wish we’d had more time
in these years, my brother,
but I’m glad
I got to
take care of you.

shelter

A sense of place in a time of loss

Photo by Octodrone Maxilla

Shelter me

says the millipede to the leaf
as the air goes cold in springtime

Oh, shelter me

says the leaf to the twig
as the breeze lifts her fellows ‘long the climb

Oh, oh shelter me

says the twig to the branch
as the storm becomes less than benign

Shelter, oh shelter me

says the branch to the tree
as it clings to the strong wooden spine

Shelter me, oh, shelter me

says the tree to the forest
as lightning’s child razes her shrine

Shelter me shelter me

says the smoke to the air
as the last ash drifts dusty and fine.

Shelter me

says the speck to the millipede
as it settles to ground

and becomes part of time.