Monday, 5 December 2016

A poem by Louise Robertson

My Brother's Biological Father Asks for Forgiveness

When my brother
Facetimes me Sunday
at 4:30 pm,
with the tablet half-pointed
to the ceiling so I can
just see his chin
and a bottle bobs into
view like he’s showing it to me
on purpose,
I start walking. Phone
held away from my head, I get
out of the house. I go
over the grass yard and falling-apart
driveway, head toward the bike trail
by the creek. This is a year
with cicada. They shiver and the sunlight
sieves through the leaves of ash trees
marked with red exes and the ash trees
soon-to-be thus marked.
My brother
confesses what
his biological father told him
when he tracked them down.
They tried to abort him. Why’d
you do that? I don’t say.
We know where we come from.
The creek folds its own water.
Our lives are supposed
to be filled with shame,
start to finish. Let me
illustrate: 20 to 40 pounds heavier
and I’m sorry. Two whiskey bottles
down and my brother is
sorry. Get born at
the wrong time: Sorry, sorry.
My brother's biological
father is dying, is dead,
has to pull off that coat,
had to get
out his secret truth
to the one he did it to.
My brother
made the sign
of the cross and
ate the sin and let his
biological father go.
We know where we come from.

Louise Robertson has completed the following checklist in no particular order: Journal publications (Crack the Spine, Red Eft Review, Gyroscope, and others). Poetry event organizer. College (Oberlin). MFA (George Mason University). Awards (Mary Roberts Rhinehart, Columbus Arts Festival, and others). Slam teams (Rustbelt, NPS, and others). Full-length book (The Naming Of, Brick Cave, 2015). Has trouble sleeping. Tries to be nice. Likes biking and swimming. Hates running. Does it anyway. Loves her two kids.

1 comment:

  1. Bearing in mind that this is an issue I've had to confront from several different perspectives, I would say this poem is brilliant! Bravo, Louise Robertson!