Rite for My Brother
These are your glasses I am laying to rest
in a small hole in the back yard four years after
your death. The heavy and square ones, the rims
of soft gray. I put them on one last time, whisper
away away. They’ve been mine long enough,
though they were never, though you were never,
though in an earlier age your manner of dying
would have barred your poor body from any
church yard, now none of that matters.
I’m here alone, and with this pathetic
benediction For all that you saw
my ghosts move from stomach to throat
and I bury you, you whom I loved and pitied
and longed for, I bury, cover with a big enough
stone near the shade garden’s wall.
No matter, while I live you are
a cup of mist, frothing over.
Smaller and thicker lenses, sharper and leaner letters
on the chart. Nothing ever came into focus,
not really. The family deficits: myopia,
astigmatism, yes, but the real trouble?
we were scared to see, my brother and I.
Bad enough the common losses,
what if suddenly—
clear into the other world
our sister did not sit with Jesus
and her five-year limbs were not decked
freshly out, but there, the dark green
seaweed clung to her, or worst of all,
a look of terror on that face.
Bio: Maeve Kinkead holds degrees from Harvard University and graduated from The Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers in 2008. An Emmy Award winning actress, she worked for many years in theatre, film, and television. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Cortland Review, Provincetown Arts, The New Yorker Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Poetry in Performance, and The Recorder.