For Fredericka Gray…

For Fredericka Gray…

My brother is dead

I don’t say that too often

Not even inside of my own head

Where there are no faces of pity

No one thinking she must be pretty

Messed up

There she stands all dressed up

While inside

She must be dying

All the while

I keep trying

To keep my game face on

Ups, downs

I got the same face on

After all

I am superwoman

Watch me fly

Without wings

While the caged bird sings

I soar

Through closed doors

And emotional road blocks

Life don’t stop

But sometimes

It does get real slow

And then

Like poetic flow

It switches up

Quickens up

The plot

Thickens up

Getting up

Requires being down

And rock bottom

Is seeing your twin in a coffin

Who do you talk to

When you’re this mad

At God

I know you

Walk through

My shoes

And those blues

Hurt like hell

They say I held up well

At his funeral


I was a basket case

Pictured throwing myself into the casket

But there were two sets of brown eyes

Looking up at me

They just lost their uncle

All they had left is me

So I pushed on

For my babies

I’d be lying if I said that road was easy

I cried

Till dry eyes

Couldn’t produce a tear

Went to bed one day

Didn’t get up for a year


I was paralyzed

Each time I picked up the phone

Forced to realize

I could dial a million times

And still


Couldn’t answer me

It seemed

Even God

Wouldn’t answer me


I know I’m not supposed to question

Decisions You make

But surely Lord

This time

You’ve made a mistake

You’re supposed to see everything

And yet somehow

You missed this

Fix this


Bring my brother back

So I can be whole again

Without my twin

I’m lost

I measure time

By my son’s age

His birth and my brother’s death

Separated by a few days

It’s been 18 years now

So I know your biggest fear now

Is that this pain

Won’t ever really stop

But sometimes

Like poetic flow

It does get real slow


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