For My Brother

For My Brother March 31, 2014


During my father’s slow avalanche to death, my brother was a tireless advocate on his behalf, a bodhisattva in the way he cleared debris and made things easier for everyone around him. I was in a plane over the Pacific Ocean when I finally wrote this poem for him.

For My Brother

You were there when I had cancer

and now you’ve carried Dad through

the rickety bridge of his bones to what-

ever time is left. And somehow you are

tending the argument that is our mother

like a kettle without a handle.

For all your gifts, your care is the well

that has no bottom and, though hoisting

it up bucket by bucket turns you inside

out, that you know no other way

makes you my hero.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when you gave more than you thought you had to give; how that felt and how doing so changed you.

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"Thank you, Mark, for posting this incredibly beautiful and heartwarming poem. Blessings, Laraine"

The Work of Care

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