Although our boys were very different from one another – Paul was a brainy musician and computer nerd and Ben is a brainy athlete and actor – they always loved each other very much. They respected each other’s differences and talents.
I’ve gathered some photos of them together. How could I not celebrate the brothers during this month of celebrating Paul’s life?
A Poem That Wants To Be for Ben*
They are always about Paul, my dead son
the one who died of his own free will
so many years ago.
My hordes of poems go on like a mantra:
his mania, depression, his delusions, escapades,
his suicide. They never fail to mention
his piercing blue eyes, the little half smile
that never showed his teeth, the smoky smell
and the way he slumped over the piano like the thinker
as he played.
Paul and his death have been my muse.
Ben’s living eyes brim over with love
as he looks down and folds me in his arms.
He is the son who says
I love you
every time we speak.
His smiles are wide
even when he faces disappointment
in his own life.
This son is the reason I choose to live.
Why isn't he the reason I choose to write?
*From my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On (Lucky Press LLC, 2011).