This is a poem I wrote for my brother Morgan
a couple of years ago for his birthday. Anyone
who isn't an only child should be able to relate.
I STAND ALONE WITH YOU
I stand alone
You enter, stage left
Left behind, left first, left-handed.
The power struggle has begun.
Who are you?
Why are you here?
From where have you come?
Are you aware and do you care that
It is my womb you've been living in.
Watch where you step,
This is mine, not yours.
They love me more,
I was here first!
Why are you here?!
Sweeter, smarter, still so small.
And I, too big to carry
Life, twisting and swirling through my mind
Where am I?
Who am I?
And where now, do I belong?
They love you more.
We stand together,
Crushing changes transform our world
Me in shambles, you so still.
No tears, no fits, just quiet dismay
As you look on, not quite knowing
Why it is that I tug at his feet.
What's wrong you say, he'll be back next week.
Too young to know or understand?
Or is it just that you are strong and wise
In ways that I cannot command, as I chase
The waves that ebb from me
Not knowing, not seeing that while
The waves may withdraw,
The ocean never goes away.
How can I reach inside your serenity,
Your incomprehensible composure,
To touch the pain I cannot see?
Maybe, I think, if I just reach through,
And prove it lives within us two,
I No longer stand alone,
The family freak, pressing each
To acknowledge what has hurt us all.
Childish games, adult pains
Clutching, clawing, reaching, reeling
I scratch the tender, perfect flesh
Of your complacent, cherubic cheek.
As my fingernails dig deeply,
I find the pain, realizing at once
That hurting you infects my soul
With guilt and sadness
I feel, but cannot explain.
Playing, tumbling, fighting, laughing
We jump together in common pursuit
Of those moments in childhood
That only we can create.
They are laced with magical fancy,
As well as mishap, agony and an absence of grace.
Oh my God, are you okay?
Was that your collar bone?
Change that channel,
Shriek, tug, pull and slug.
Power struggle amplifies.
Stomp, click, the TV's off,
That'll do it, problem solved.
Or is it just postponed?
We drift apart like clouds.
Shape shift and morph,
Moving with the wind.
The land below is new and fresh
And offers us the future.
It's filled with people we do not know,
Most of whom first stay, then go.
As we journey among the many souls,
We pick our paths, our friends, our loves.
The kaleidoscope that is our mind,
Created by all that we are and where we've been
Colors and distorts, challenging all
We know, we hope, we do.
With luck you find a woman who
Despite and because, she holds true and fast.
Steady now, I think somewhere you know
This one, twisting and turning through your heart
This one despite and because of all will last.
Many years now have come and passed
Since the days of wondering
Is it you or me they love the most?
We continue on, now two of eight
Our identities unique, yet interwoven.
We remain the only two with our past.
Code, essence, power, and experience
Unite as they provide a common
Ground on which to stand.
Spirits merge, minds interlock
Subsidence and separation
Melt away, leave behind
A residue of pain and joy.
Now divide, now combine
Our life-long power struggle
Still remains, but we know somehow
Somewhere along the way,
Our purposes have crossed and merged.
Who would have thought that either would
Respect and love and fight as one.
As our forces join, we move along
Using my strength, and yours as ours
Conquering, conjuring and creating
A world that lives within our hearts and minds
As a magical, imaginative collective dream.
We are irrevocably connected
Always were, always will be.
But now I rejoice where once I feared,
Knowing now who you are and why you're here.
On the anniversary of your birth,
I declare without a doubt,
What's mine you are welcome to
As finally I have come to know
I am more because of you.