DEATH OF AN OLDER BROTHER
( i.m. Paul Nash 1889-1946 and John Nash 1893-1977)
There were gaps, some overlapping, some uniquely one’s own.
Childhood was hard,
we didn’t dwell there,
stepped aside, rushed past
it’s as if there’s dead ground,
an absence that drags.
like the ones we found we could tell
as we told them.
When I asked you “Is that really what happened?”
it’s because I didn’t know it’s the wrong question,
word and occasion don’t mesh like that.
Syntax isn’t a net which can lift a tench from a pond,
no amount of telling makes things so.
Which doesn’t mean a story can’t be useful, not at all.
They helped us breathe more easily
have deeper feelings
keep things apart, keep things going.
Hold personal stuff distinct from the general commotion.
A storm coming up on the blindside,
the relief when it broke,
happiness falling like rain.
The skip forward, impulse of love.
Anger and pain,
no saying which came first.
Not being at home in the world
nor in our flesh.
or so it seems now
you were who I was trying to be.
Is that even possible?
Days working together,
often as one.
It is intended that this poem be read in conjunction with the previous post, Psychotherapy – some thoughts.