There were lots of dings that spring.
The hail hit hard and frequently,
but the biggest ding, the deepest,
was the one my youngest brother made.
Of the five of us,
he was the most brave,
the most Devil-may-care,
the most take-it-as-it-comes.
We spent so much time outside
when summer came,
and we would melt like popsicles.
I remember so much:
the harmonic tumble of two brothers
or even three,
wrestling each other across the lawn,
jumping for distance from the porch steps,
our limbs akimbo.
Yet somehow we landed in one piece.
The serene tombs of all the animals we buried,
from birds to butterflies.
A baby rabbit whom we could not save.
The arranged cadence of our marching,
playing army in the field,
as the only girl, I got to be the general!
Our sugared trance
after candy bars and pop,
some we filched
in order to miss Mom’s lecture on tooth decay.
But she knew anyway.
his laggardness, how we’d wait for him,
but once he caught up,
He put the deepest ding in the porch rail
and in my heart.
I sit here now on these very steps
and remember our fun and remember his face
before he stepped onto that plane
to go to war.
I look at that ding
and still I wait for him.