he was the quiet one.
red hair, glasses, freckles;
more sarcastic, or shy,
than his funny brother —
more intense than easy-going.
or, at least, that’s how i
remember him. when we
carpooled it seemed almost
impossible to sustain a
conversation — but maybe
he was just resigned to
never getting a word in edgewise.
i didn’t keep up with him
through the years;
older only daughters don’t
keep tabs on the younger
of two sets of twin sons.
when the day came for his
memorial i couldn’t make
myself go; the horror gripped me,
to my shame, and all i could
imagine was the scream
of a mother as she found
the shell of a little boy
who got too tired to go on,
and the ache of the brother
left behind. they say the line
stretched beyond the parking lot,
so many people came.
the rest of us have all grown up
since then, and perhaps his family
has moved away. but every day
i drive down their street,
i remember him.