Brothers and Sisters

By Diane Panozzo

Texas, The Gulf of Mexico: On Safari

I sat for hours this morning, watched
lapping ocean waves;
four squatting pelicans on dock posts
who shifted their focus from fish,
gathered the sun reflecting off the waves.

I imagined receding back through the lenses
of those pelicans
away from light to dark,
to the room where you lay dying of cancer,
the windows covered with blankets
to muffle the noises of the kids,
and screeching tires next to your house
at the Circle K.

On morphine, you hallucinate:
Speak to the pigeons in the attic.
You don’t see me.
Brother and pal, you and me
on the paper route in chicago, you and me,
out before the sun, slapping newspapers on porches,
between us, never a word.

We shared a room smaller
than the one you die in now. Our room
we held together while the house fell
room by room. A lack of oxygen.
No one breathed, spoke, held out a hand.

We packed peanut butter and butter sandwiches and fritos,
tied up bundles of rocks, Mother’s thimbles, Daddy’s cigar rings,
headed to the baseball field
where we crawled through the grass on our bellies.

It was Africa. The elephants were coming in the distance.
We didn’t ask for anything.

The Gulf water shimmers back and forth
like the Jello we ate after we bagged two lions.

You’re in the ocean, in the fish leaping up
by the dock, in the eyes of the pelicans,
the blue heron, coasting across the island on the horizon,
the egrets, the roseate spoonbill, the willet — in me.

Categories: Issue 5, Poetry | Leave a comment

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