Abigail Chorley

PALSY

A Poem for My Brother

Listen to the audio version read by Melissa Cotter.

I used to confuse it with Paul
as if your problem
was your name
and cerebral the next kind
of pie you planned on baking, not the uncovered explanation
of why you still live at home or why your sentences are sometimes strung out too long
always
reaching out and upward as you exit
the room. Your hair was never
the same after they half shaved
it for the tubes, Iím told (I wasnít around then)
that was before you urged pumpkins to climb
walls and play on rooftops, before
the boat was built in the back garden
(though we lived in land-locked state), before
the neighbor boys bullied you, before the dogs broke
your bunnyís back. Then
you were
tiny
       twisted
fingers
in an incubator
the world had not yet locked
you up under a bus because of your difference,
the slurred speech or
pilly socks you insist on wearing. Then
you were simply
a baby
       trying
to breathe

 

Abigail Chorley is a senior at John Brown University majoring in English with an emphasis in creative writing, the literature officer of the English honors society, and a staff writer for the Three Fold Advocate.