In 1942 when I was ten
and you were five, we got together Sundays
as I’d head north to military school,
flagging the Greyhound down. Those were not fun days:

Mother, broken by life, had left the scene;
Pearl had called father to a four-year fight.
My scruffy boots, the tell-all uniform,
spotted and rank-less, put on view the fright

I was at fifth-grade soldiering. Then I heard
through open windows how you’d worked it out”
towers in the wind, singing above the sea,
anthems of self-belief, innate, devout”

and you became a brother instantly.
As weeks passed and I listened on that span,
your riffs of joy seemed almost tuned to ease
my chronic fear of growing into a man.

Some you did not convince as easily.
May they, drenched in despair, who could not heal,
return to light somewhere down harbor skies,
beyond the flotsam and the listening seal.

Articles by Moore Moran