A lively young man in old photographs
admiring the gifted coffee–pot lamp,
pretending to smoke, a pretend celebration;
you inhabit so much family memory.
You stood my six–year–old self
snub to the wall
when I held my privacy, instinctively,
silent of my school day.
Just as I would now,
you ran my locomotives
as I, unable to brash my toys,
sulked beneath the table.
I remember peeking through the crack
of a half–closed door,
looking down the hall,
when mother came back, crying.
you send advice through third hand tales,
you star in fondly corrupted anecdotes.
I still hear their shock
watered down the years.
why did you die?