The Rescue

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A poem for one of my awesome big brothers, Doug. Although we fought endless as kids and he enjoyed tormenting me like only older brothers can, he has always had this incredibly mushy center and a heart the size of a whale. As much as I was a target of his brotherly torture and insults, I have also been a huge beneficiary of his Dougie love and kindness.

He was the boy who rescued

the white stuffed puppy
rubbed fur-less
floppy with excessive love
from the trash can where mother pitched him

Me too old for comfort
she thought
A brother who knew there was never enough
in this house of steep stairways and flying wooden clogs

The boy with the syringes
who hoarded Halloween candy
in a green plastic bowl under his bed
rationing out sweets to his diabetic self
Savoring
Pacing

Sneaking into the living room before sunrise
lifting a broken little sister
from the sweaty sheeted couch
carrying her secretly to the bathroom
when her legs wouldn’t
Mother insisting she toughen up
be self-sufficient

Also the boy
who removed all the screws from the crutches
slipping it back in shape
propping it by the couch
so when she raised herself
she’d fall
He’d laugh

The brother to battle
over the last bowl of chocolate pudding
both of us always fighting
for more sugar

Never enough sweet
in that house

We needed more

Julie Ayers, May 2011

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About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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