Home » Poets United » LITTLE BROTHER


So many things about you bothered me
In ways of which I could not bring myself to look
Guessing, I suppose, in my naïveté and youth
That to peer directly at such a wounded soul
Would only serve to spread such poison,
Infecting me as well.

Still, sad recurrent secrets, accidentally
Overheard in the fissures of the night
When you’d so often waken screaming,
Wild and terrified
And Mom would rock you and ssh you
And sing nonsense lullabies to try
And soothe you back to sleep
Must have over-flown the banks of your reality

Those dark, purple bruises of your psyche
Likely seeped into mine
Or perhaps, because we grew so very close,
I absorbed your private hell by osmosis

I know only, my own deepest self bears ugly,
Wicked scars, belonging more to you than me
And even after some well-meant but paltry efforts,
The most I had to offer way back when
There was no escaping, not for either one of us.

9 thoughts on “LITTLE BROTHER

  1. Thanks to all of you for coming, reading and commenting on my largely autobiographical “Little Brother” – I have to say Lucy, the journey isn’t really any easier now but it is over as my brother died two years ago this past Christmas. Unfortunately, he died before a lot of things could get resolved between us (funny how we always think we’ll have time for such things until we don’t…)but I believe he’s probably in a better space/place and certainly in a lot less pain now. He died from complications from COPD and I think his last couple of years were pretty miserable ones…thanks again everyone – as always, your insightful thoughts are much appreciated.

  2. It is terrifying as a child to observe and stand back – but sometimes childhood leaves us powerless to do anything else.


  3. This is especially touching to me, Sharon as I know the background story. I, too, like your revamped page.

  4. Sharon, this is so sad. I do believe that it’s so easy for a sensitive person to absorb a loved one’s woundedness and to bear it throughout a lifetime. There is enough pain to go around.

  5. dang…that next to last stanza really brings this to the forefront for me….the gathering of theri nightmares by osmosis…and to be that close and feel their own torment…says much of your relationship…finely crafted piece…this is a new page for you isnt it? looks nice..i like the clean feel and nice header…

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