I don't think my brother realized all
the responsibilities involved in being
her guardian, not just the paperwork
but the trips to the dentist and Wal-Mart,
the making sure she has underwear,
money to buy Pepsis, the crying calls
because she has no shampoo even though
he has bought her several bottles recently.
We talk about how he might bring this up
with the staff, how best to delicately ask
if they're using her shampoo on others
or maybe just allowing her too much.
"You only need a little, Mom," he said,
"Not a handful." "I don't have any!"
she shouted before hanging up. Later
he finds a bottle stashed in her closet
and two more hidden in the bathroom
along with crackers, spoons, and socks.
Afraid someone might steal her things,
she hides them, but then not only forgets
where, but that she ever had them at all.
I tease my brother, "You always wanted
another kid." He doesn't laugh. She hated
her father, and, in this second childhood,
she resents the one who takes care of her.
When I call, she complains about how
my brother treats her and how she hasn't
seen him in years. If I explain everything
he's doing, she admires the way I stick up
for him. Doing nothing means I do nothing
wrong. This is love's blindness and love's
injustice. It's why I expect to hear anger
or bitterness in my brother's voice, and why
each time we talk, no matter how closely
I listen, I'm astonished to hear only love.
- Posted from my iPhone
THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
Verses for a Night Walk.
Autumn brings me closer impacts with reality than any other season. The balmy airs of Spring and Summer breed in my mind only pretty pantheistic sentiments, but let a tang spill into the air, and my comfortable and easy-going soul is spurred on to great adventure. On nights such as these I disappear over the back wall and head across country. The stars are sharp and brittle. Odors of dying vegetation rise from the ground. I tramp on, searching for what Vaughan said he saw--
"I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm as it was bright."
And turning toward home, my feet slogging along a little slower, my head in the heavens, I wonder at Vaughan's other verse--
"There is in God, so some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky because they
See not all clear.
O for that Night! where I in Him
Might live invisible and dim."
- Posted from my iPhone