A Poem by panheadpigments

About the summer of 2013

I wrote many letters to my brother with a pen that said "US NAVY."
I told him about high school,
and he told me about how often he shined his shoes, 
the countless miles he ran at dawn,
and he said that his officers could never embarrass him,
even though they tried. 
The only thing that was familiar about him,
was his scribbled handwriting. 

I imagined him with short blonde hair hidden with a blue camo cover.
One that had bullet holes through it.
We hear those commercials about honoring the soldiers that
run towards the gunfire instead of away.
We are proud of the men and women that serve our country.
But a military family is one that makes sacrifices. 
Because now I know what it's like to have a brother that will run to gunfire
like he was coming home. 
I watched my brother cry because he was leaving his girlfriend again.
He said that it sucked to see us for one day only to have to go.
I tell people that I'm glad he's gone, because now I can use his Xbox and steal his CDs.
But really, I'm scared he'll never come back to use his own bed. 


I wrote broken letters to my father who stayed in the heart wing of the hospital.
I never sent those letters,
because I was scared he would never read them. 
I didn't want to believe the cardiologist when he said
there were leeches pinned to my father's sternum,
because I was reminded in the instant 
what leeches do. 
The surgeon practically replaced my father's heart,
but the only thing different about him was his smile.

I saw him with a tube through his stomach,
like wires rearranging his DNA,
like the tube down his throat,
urging him to keep breathing
He was pale and sickly like he had just visited Death for afternoon tea.
and returned with new view on life.
When I came into the room I swallowed my tears and held his hand,
and it felt like I was losing him too quickly.


I'm currently writing tea-stained letters to my grandfather in New Orleans. 
I hope that I will send them before he cannot read them.
I did not believe my mother when she told me he was sick. 
He has young eyes, old skin, and a bright laugh.
His laugh fooled me into thinking that he would always last. 
The cancer in his tongue would not keep him from eating 
my Mimi's pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. 
And the disease in his throat would never stop him from laughing. 
I haven't seen him since the diagnosis, 
but I know that his laugh has not changed.
His laugh will always fool me into thinking that
good things will last

© 2013 panheadpigments

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Added on October 1, 2013
Last Updated on November 11, 2013
Tags: poem



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