To My Brother

(c) 1988 Grand Prize Winner American Poetry Association

I never thought I’d long for
white mountains and pines
or the old penitentiary hill
we stormed under visible stars

or our road snowpacked
and streaked by silver runners
that winter we played fox and geese,
stomping a circle in the backyard.

Wrestling in the spoiled snow
you bruised my leg
and I lay under your eyes,
lay in a wet hollow
your body pressed against me.

Now, in the photo
your wife’s hair is long and black,
yours gray and receding. If I am

thinking about you,
your young body, it is
because I am alone and

it is raining here.
And each time I tip
this paperweight, snow
falls from lake to sky

slowly settling.

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