— for brother Scott (1970-2007)
Tonight…I’m not just slouching.
My mind scampers across pine needles and ice —
along great rivers that still sing,
to the year before our gentle brother, Scott, left us…on a riverbank.
He couldn't bear the weight of modernity.
Dolphins and whales being slaughtered in Japan.
Coyotes poisoned in Arizona deserts
becoming white bones —
their own poisoned tendons poisoning mice, ravens, eagles, crows.
He’d grimace at the thought of modern-day hunters
killing mothers and wolf pups and bear cubs
deep in dens of sleepy hibernation —
all thanks to the stroke of a madman’s pen.
Sometimes I still see him in dream
on a far off hill.
He is walking away.
He turns around but doesn't see me.
Yet, I can see his eyes
and they are still gleaming with curiosity.
I wish I could tell him that I've lost faith too
but the turquoise sky
and anticipating this year's cicada song
keeps me woven-in somehow.
Every May, in early May, I lift a pint to him.
It marks a memory.
Two brothers walking.
Me: Smoking an American Spirit, back when I smoked.
Him: Strumming strings, lifting his voice to the trees and sky, back when he sang.
O, how my brother loved this earth.
O, how he wished he had the means
to show everyone
the Interwoven Tapestry of Light
that he saw.
Some say he took his own life.
To this day, I don’t think so.
I think he died of a broken heart for his Mother.
I think he gave up living with a broken heart
and decided to join the shining world
on the other side of the veil
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com