Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Wish...

I've been thinking about my brother a lot lately...

At least three times a day I wish I could send him a text message, a terrible song lyric by Skee-Lo or some other crappy R&B singer from the 90s...

Iraq feels further away than it ever has before.  The last time he was there, I never had a cell phone, so I couldn't just fire off a text and wait for a laugh.  I had to write letters and wait a month for a phone call. 

I wrote this poem because I was disillusioned the night before he left from his last visit:


This horror floated ashore from the sea of memory,
a corpse that looked too familiar to ignore
too much like myself.
It was only drunk talk on a Saturday night
guys shooting pool
shooting the breeze.
(But my own brother--
builder of snowbank forts
screamer of obscenities
bestower of bruises
the same man who stood up for me--
crossed a line.
"There is nothing"
he says
"like pulling the trigger and watching the guy fall down.")
shooting my image of my only brother.
He is never coming back.

My image of him was blown.  Completely.  And yet, all I can think about is how much I'd like him to sing "I Wish."  I wish I were a little bit taller; I wish I was a baller.  I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her.  I wish I had a rabbit in a hat and a bat....



Stan said...

this reminds me of when my older Brother was in Viet Nam back in '69-'70. The whole family wrote a letter EVERY day and we were worried sick about him. He didn't come back the same. He was different and he never talks about it either. I pray for your Brother's safety and all the guys and gals over there.
Bring them back home NOW!

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks for your support, Stan. I appreciate that!

A human kind of human said...

This poem really tugs at the heart of a female who has been involved with armed forces for the past 34 years and has lived and lost through a Bush War. Just keep believing for I promise you, he is still there, just very well hidden... in self-defence.

Kelly Muys Wood said...

justin, there is so much that i want to write to you that i don't even know where to begin.

i'll think about it and come back.

(you have an exquisite way of telling a story, by the way.)


Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thank you both for the encouragement and kind words.

Argent said...

That was one powerful poem. I hope that, when it's all over, your brother can find his way back to you in every sense of the words.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Thanks, Argent. Me, too!