Come Back
for my brother


You hated fuss,
didn't want our concern,
didn't want to be seen
bald, bloated, dribbling;

clutched the fear and pain
tight to its own house
and we were filtered in
by distant bulletins,

you having laid down how
your wife stood dragon-guard
over the poisoned hoard.
No one can help you now.


The complacent heart
has not heard yet -

programmed to trace
the sudden swing right
into that steep street
to see your silhouette
ripple across the glass.

Prohibited exchange
bloodbound or spirit-strange,
what passes for a soul,
cold, selfish, shallow,
must settle to its role:

grief is late and slow
to grasp or let me go.


Come in dreams
of argument
where contradiction
is of less moment
than engagement;

come in nightmares
of ward-sedated
self stripped away
letting us say
you went without pain.

Come to me any way.


© Brian Fewster
Published in Staple 49, Winter 2000

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