I wrote this poem in 1995 just before Thanksgiving. My brother Michael died in a car accident that same year in July, leaving behind a wife, and two children who were four and two years old at the time. The picture to the right inspired the poem. It was taken in my parents’ home the Christmas prior. Michael is the photographer. It is written from my nephew’s perspective, as though he is looking into the camera with a foreknowledge of the coming events.


This Night

How is it that you are content?
How can you be so full of cheer?
What makes you smile the way you do?
What causes you to draw me near?

Perhaps this brother needs consoling,
A seer of gentleness to be.
This is the final Christmas, Sis,
That Daddy will be here with me.

The holly green, wrapped presents high,
The lights aglow, the tree is bright.
While kin are happy, I dare cry
To wish I’d never seen this night.

So take my hand and hold me close.
The dark of night, ‘twill bring the end.
Dear Sister, let’s stay here with him,
Our Dad, in brevity, and friend.

18 November A.D. 1995