I was asked to describe him today, just before
he turns sixty four. And I remembered
how he played the clarinet, and ran up the sand hill
and baited my fishing pole when I was seasick.
I couldn’t quite capture the fun we had when we
hiked along the Rogue River for forty miles,
me with blisters on my feet, and my brother,
worried about me, and taking time to enjoy the river
and watching all the rafters shoot the rapids
while we ate lunch.
I could not put into words his support for me, as
Mom was dying, and he was always there for me,
even the times we talked, long distance, about the
latest ambulance ride and the doctor’s
I could not describe my brother’s joy as he worked on his
sail boat, and has made everything on it by hand, except
for the few parts he needed someone else to make,
and knows them by their first name.
I could not say the thanks and the love I felt from him
when he flew up from San Francisco to see me
graduate from college, a day we missed Dad again, together.
I could not paint the picture of my older brother,
who has always been there for me, in all that life has offered,
or how good it was to hear his voice, when I got
home from the hospital, after my heart attack.
I could not tell them the pride I have for my brother,
and all that he has given me throughout my life,
all the joy, and the love, and strength
he has always shared with me.
But, I did tell them I have a brother
and I love him very much.
--Neal Lemery June, 2010