Sunday, May 11, 2008

Little Brother

My brother is five years old again. ‘Do you want to go on an adventure?’ I ask him. I have money in a plastic envelope, bags of sweets, our thick coats. He looks out of the window and says, ‘But things are going to get worse.’ He’s right. The moon shivers across the dark sea as we look out at the lines of rising surf, our hands pressed to the glass. When the storm comes I feel it pound against the chalet’s thin wooden walls, through the veil of my dream.

a little boy stares
at his fists full of sand
sails on the horizon

He is 44 this year and has children by three different women: a daughter of eighteen who has lived in the States for the past ten years, a boy of eleven whose mother disappeared with him when he was only a few months old, and Morgan, his baby son with Manuela. The invitation to their wedding arrived this week. 'This time,' I say to myself, 'things will work out.'

warm wind
a man lifts his hands
from the handlebars

My sister and I taught him how to play cards in a caravan on a rainy afternoon in Devon. His hands were so little he struggled to hold them all and when he dropped one, and crawled under the table to fetch it, we spiked the remaining ones, giving him the four Jacks that would easily win him the game. His eyes widened and a grin spread across his face as he picked up one card at a time. When he finally realised we’d set him up, he looked at us and said, ‘You scrumptious girls.’

crowded promenade
a little boy jumps
the long shadows

Dover Beach and My Back Yard
British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology 2007