Memories of my Brother

I decided I would challenge myself to write a poem for my brother every day this month and this is the result. It is rough and rugged and it is a mere work-in-progress but I'm just writing down stuff I want to say.


21. XXI

Just as the world was once flat
And less infinite than its truth
Your decisions were once measured
As though by millimetre rule
But when they told you that you had no choice
But admission
You tried to draw without the guidance of a rule
And your emaciated hands
Could not hold the line straight
So your thoughts were like
The loosening spindle of a persistent drill;
Damaging more than functional
You refused what was unconditional
And so they chained your wrists together
With one bone-clinching cuff
And taped a sign which read
Sectioned Under the Mental Health Act
Over your lips
And perhaps you were temporarily satisfied with that
Because you'd never enjoyed
The distance you could force your lips apart
The way you liked to see the gaps
Between your legs
And so to have a label pull them near
Was somewhere between a reward and a salvation
For you.

For me it was a little note in a maths lesson
About basic surds
Which said
You will be picked up by your grandfather today
And my label leeched off me
The way yours leeched off you
It was like a disfigurement
The way it balanced upon my reflection
In hideous semi-presence
And the smart kid with bad breath
Never asked why I let my fingers
Snowstorm through that little note -
Desiccated coconut -
But I knew what that little note meant
It meant that you were no longer trusted
As you
But had morphed into
Death in a wig
And I looked down at the numbers
That were square-rooting themselves
And wondered why everything,
Maths included,
Was trying to grow backwards.

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