brother, i.

by Michael King

brother, i want to thank you
for taking the time to pin
my boutonnière to my lapel
i know it’s the sort of thing
i could have figured out for
myself, instead of waiting
five minutes before pictures,
but you didn’t say so, you
just smiled, just quietly
pinned them together

i want to thank you
for staying beside me
every time i spilled my life
across the sidewalk, another
failure to get it right, you
grabbed my shoulder, looked
me in the eye, told me
we’d keep on walking, you
and me, pick up what
we could and keep going

thank you for imaginary
games in the backyard,
sound effects and wide
eyes, how you believed
in things unseen, magic
faraway worlds, and
me, how you kept on
believing in me

i want to say i will
carry you with me
every step of the road,
brother, want to
grab your shoulder, look
you in the eye, tell you
it’s you and me

and, trembling fingers, i will
pin this boutonnière to my lapel,
the delicate bringing together,
how i will miss your gentle
hands, try and mimic them
in the mirror, brother,
i will carry us now

poetry