claire burrber

Uncle Larry

Not so very long ago, my brother left me all alone.
Over many quarrels and adventurous afternoons forgotten,
His drinking, his music, he got caught up in.
While I made vows, so in love, he was rotting his irreplaceable self.
All because of consecutive binging, all because of no self control.
It’s not a problem, I would deny to myself, he’s not in trouble, he just needs a little help.
If only I could change it now.

Ah, I remember in that cold January,
And the empty bottles began making his destiny for him.
Desperately I wish to help; - conceited, I believed he could help himself.
I was wrong, oh so sorrowfully wrong- sorrow for Larry-
The musical, talented, troubled of whom my angel mother named, Larry-
Now carved in stone.

And soon the quiet words of my daughters,
Wanting to know why they don’t have an uncle,
Thrilled me- filled me with answers
I wasn’t willing to share- questions that scared me.
So that now-my answer was merely
An excuse-my brother is dead-nothing more.

Now, their understanding is better,
I can’t keep it from them any longer.
The fact is, I was hiding- now I’m stronger.
Now my daughters have no interest, in the details in his departure,
But this time I wish you’d hear me, when I say he didn’t know.

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Poem Edited: Thursday, August 25, 2011

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