Poem for my Brother Tony



The doctor with the bluest eyes,

an exact match for his uniform,

tells me the dark news tenderly.

Hours later, my brother drags on air,

his tube removed, blue eyes open,

raised like a supplicating saint.

Though he’s no saint, just a man,

flawed as humans are, who

muddled along as people do.

We have to leave in the early hours.

He cannot hear my goodbyes.

We drive home in June darkness.

The moon’s a cruel scythe, bright

as a spotlight, unwavering. a rabbit

runs from the hedge into the car’s path.

The small life is annihilated, swifter

than my brother, who labours on

fourteen hours more. He always

took the quietest road, giving in so easily.

I never thought he’d fight so hard to live.



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4 responses to “Poem for my Brother Tony

  1. Beautiful, Angela. So sad. My heart goes out to you.

  2. Paul Beech

    Angela – Reading ‘Roadkill’ and having a sense of what lies between the raw experience and its rendering, I am deeply moved. Hope to see you soon. Paul

  3. I have decided to change the slightly misleading title. I need one which links my brother and the rabbit, so I think I am going to call this Scythe. Tony was not run over by a car, like the rabbit, but died from a heart attack. The rabbit’s death seemed like an omen on our late night way home.

  4. The final title is Sickle Room, and I am pleased with that. The layout is in three line stanzas throughout.
    I am sure more poems about Tony will be surfacing as I learn to cope with his loss.