Did it start with the iron brought down
hard on your head?
I don’t imagine it did.
I think of the thousands of ways it is possible
to hurt someone.
I think, Yes, there must have been previous
wounds to body and soul.
I think, Yes, you must have suffered often.
And was it just you?
Did your twin suffer as well?
Cut apart, we had no way to watch out for the others.
Like a spy, I got bits of information,
You lived alone.
Our father brought you groceries on Saturdays.
Upon meeting my daughter you cocked your head –
was that in some far-off recollection of my name,
or just a tic caused by the cursed iron?
On the final indignity of diabetes,
It took your leg, but was that all?
Did you enjoy anything at all,
locked away in your cell of a mind?
Our sister feels outrage that we were all
denied each other and now she’s always careful
to make sure I know how much she loves me.
Did anyone do the same for you?
I have more questions than answers, younger brother.
We were all just victims of our parents’ diseases.
And now you are free and I will never have a chance to
bring you groceries, whisper my name in your ear.