Oh Brother, Dear

He was nine years older.
His daddy went off to war,
I was the afterthought.

I was the tag-along
the have-to-take-along,
the dawdling one behind.

I delivered his eulogy
unbelievably far too soon.
Mom and dad sat numb.

All these years later
they wait for me again,
resting on a grassy hill.

Not yet, I whisper.
Not yet.

Day 16 of National Poetry Writing Month and today Toads asks us to write about something that stems from the word “remains” — the word itself does not need to be included. This poem is also posted to dVerse, the virtual pub for poets’ Open Link Night which I host today. Poets may post one poem of their choice, no particular form or prompt. dVerse opens at 3 PM Boston time today.

56 thoughts on “Oh Brother, Dear

      • V.J. Knutson April 16, 2020 / 2:54 pm

        I bet you do. Losing a sibling leaves a hole for sure. Lost my eldest sister thirty years ago.


  1. Sherry Marr April 16, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    Yes, not yet. I can see the hill, where they lie waiting, can feel the “not yet.” I whisper that to myself, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 2:52 pm

      Thank you, Sherry. Your reply makes me sigh and smile and sigh again.


  2. fireblossom32 April 16, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    Very touching and poignant, esp. along with the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellecee April 16, 2020 / 1:21 pm

    I am not ready yet either🙏 Several of my siblings are now gone. I enjoyed your words very much👏🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 2:55 pm

      It was just my brother and I. He was only 51 when he died of a sudden heart attack. It was totally unexpected and devastating for his children, wife, my parents, me….for so many.


  4. Glenn A. Buttkus April 16, 2020 / 3:09 pm

    Death is the perpetually unwelcome guest, the party crasher, the pariah, and too often in the autumn of our years, we see him lurking near by. Not yet, indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 3:33 pm

      My brother died when he was only 51….never got to experience his grandchildren…missed so much. He would be a great grandfather now!


  5. msjadeli April 16, 2020 / 3:56 pm

    “All these years later
    they wait for me again,
    resting on a grassy hill.”
    My eyes are full as I read these lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susie Clevenger April 16, 2020 / 4:26 pm

    I feel and see signs from my parents they are watching and waiting…I’m not ready yet. Your poem is so moving. It is one that opens up my “feels.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 5:03 pm

      Thank you, Susie. I really appreciate your comment here.


  7. rothpoetry April 16, 2020 / 4:32 pm

    I love your poem… strength and perseverance… not ready to be the next eulogy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sanaarizvi April 16, 2020 / 4:49 pm

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss, Lillian. This is a beautiful and touching poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      Thank you, Sanaa. He was only 51. It was 30 years ago and his face, for me and his family, is frozen in time at that age. How much he missed. He would be a greatgrandparent now.


    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 5:06 pm

      Just a sense of loss that I still feel My brother died at 51…thirty years ago. He missed so much. He would be a great-grandparent now. His memory, his face, are frozen in photos on my desk.


  9. calmkate April 16, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    sorry for your loss, glad you are not yet ready to join them … a nice tribute!


  10. d.a.simpsonwriter April 16, 2020 / 6:35 pm

    Very poignantly evoked. It’s almost unbearable to read, the brevity of the poem somehow capturing the cruel brevity of your own dear brother’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 7:13 pm

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment. Appreciate it!


    • lillian April 16, 2020 / 7:13 pm

      Not yet…………….he left us so early though. Only 51.


      • Truedessa April 16, 2020 / 10:38 pm

        So sorry for your loss, 51 is indeed young.


  11. Xan April 16, 2020 / 7:54 pm

    oh, that’s wrenching.


  12. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES April 16, 2020 / 8:14 pm

    I love the tag-along take-along line. I delivered one of my brother;s eulogy too.


  13. Mary (tqhousecat) April 16, 2020 / 9:43 pm

    It’s got to be hard being the youngest and all before you go. I am the youngest of 5, but still we all are here. So much in your words?


  14. kim881 April 17, 2020 / 3:28 am

    I love how you convey your relationship in so few words, Lill, capturing the essence of big brother-little sister, the sadness of losing him so young, and the tension between wanting to be with family when you’re not ready to go..


  15. Kerry April 17, 2020 / 4:15 am

    This is a very touching poem, contemplation of lives lost, especially of family and at this time brings up all sorts of emotions. You conveyed this with poignancy.


  16. Yvonne Osborne April 17, 2020 / 9:47 am

    A beautiful, poignant poem that I enjoyed very much.


  17. Raivenne April 17, 2020 / 2:58 pm

    This is so lovely and poignant and heartfelt. Good Lord, I felt this.


    • lillian April 18, 2020 / 11:57 am

      Thank you. He was a very special brother!


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