I read brother in another poem
and immediately think of him:
wild, contrary,
secretly caring deeply,
handsome, discreet as a stone
with our secrets,
braver than me.
And so I think,
should he not have been
the older brother?

Would, then, the things that happened
not have happened
if he’d been the older,
because some warning
would have sounded
when he met the abuser?

Or, maybe, in part, he is these things
because I was the sandbags
so that the breach wouldn’t happen
further in, further on down the line.

David McLoghlin