Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poem: The Two Roys

by Richard Fowler 

July, 1969 --- The last photograph of my brother was artlessly
 taken by our grandmother who insisted 
that more than half of the composition include the kitchen ceiling.

For all its faults, the picture takes nothing 
away from the arresting gaze 
of the tall, tanned, confident subject, relaxing 
with a cup of coffee with our wall-eyed grandfather.

I was just getting to know him after a long siege 
of jealousy and the misunderstandings natural to siblings 
born seven years apart.

Just starting to like him.                                                                    
Just starting to admire him.

But the needs of war trump the needs of family.

---The Two Roys was my family’s reference to the picture. My brother was named after my mom’s dad, Roy Beard, who made no secret that my brother was his favorite grandchild.  When Roy’s plane went down that October, grandpa went into a tailspin of his own and had a stroke. It’d be another 12 years before he died but he was more than halfway there, already.


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