Your Brother

Your daddy was a preacher
In the church down the lane
Prescribing Bible-realities
For our everyday malaise

Your bother was the boy
Who wore a face so long it swept the floor
He had a badly drawn tattoo—head of an eagle
That appeared the artist was in shivers while he worked
Chickens and goats disappeared in his wake
Yet your daddy
Kept prescribing 
Bible- realities for our everyday malaise

Your brother only smiled—   
Gap-toothed, like a lecher
When he was with a certain wild-eyed girl
Under the staircase

One day
They took him away, loud and furious
And cudgelled his brains with clubs
I mourned him, deep and long
Till my daddy beat me out of my blues
“No one mourns prodigals this long”

Your daddy, 
Crying his son’s name in his dream
Died of a heartbreak
And the church down the lane
Lies empty and harangued


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