I'm a lot of things. But for the time you read this, you can call me yours :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brandon's Lullaby

Ghost prisoner dances in an old window.

The girl dies when the music stops

and this house has been quiet for years now,

with footsteps echoing through the cracks in the attic floor

but never reaching the bottom of the stairs

I wonder how many haunting are self-imposed.

Don’t cry tonight, my baby. . .

Last week, I saw something I thought I’d never witness.

Saw a man’s stone fa├žade falter

alternate between guilt and sadness

the now and the then

the past and the present

but now. . .I can see the spirit fading from his eyes

tell he is human for the first time

and see he is not a polished rock flowing from the river of family photos

my father is no stone.

He’s simply a trucker.

And in the sleeper of a semi it’s nothing but him

his radio and his memories

dancing in the swaying of curtains and sounds like

similes when you’re trying to write a poem

always present but just out of reach

so he captures them in homemade music boxes.

Don’t cry, you’ll always be loved. . .

And ‘always’ is always longer when you make a decision you can’t take back,

so he finds solace in songs and sheet music

jagged and smudged like the signature across the bottom of a release form.

My brother

passes through these walls like a phantom, fast as a haiku like

a stranger to me.

Often wonder if our eyes

are the same color.

He dances in that window

a captive my father cannot let go

waiting for the day that 15-year old feet

bounce off the bottom of the landing

and out the door

to rebel against him

bring back a report card, a trophy, a girl, a mistake

but that sound never comes

when my father’s memory is only lit by that window

and I wonder how much harder it is to abort a child

when you can look him in the eyes.

Now I realize why he always tells me

to appreciate the beauty of the little things.

Knowing that even though his blood runs through that boy’s veins

he’ll never be there to keep Brandon warm again

knowing he held a masterpiece in the palm of his hand

and let it free for the “better life” he was promised

giving up on the music he made with a lover

I’ve judged without truly knowing.

Nothing I could say could make the music box gears spin

I could cry moment but that them up again

and the silence in my father’s house is deafening.

Maybe that’s why I left.

I could make him proud

I could make him smile

But I’m only one son.

And even when I have the audacity to wonder

how often he dreams of Brahm’s lullaby

or days playing in the Colorado snow –

I know there is no poem

that can bring Brandon back but please poppa

if you can listen to the music instead of just making it.

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