Baby Brother

I remember the time my mother;
her belly big without eating,
and my dad; his grin big
without drinking…

added another page
to the family book.
This, I hoped, would be
the last page.

My sister whispering,
“She’s knocked up.”
My granny, not whispering,
“Hush up, girl!”

“You’re going to have a baby brother,”
my mother says… exhausted.
“He’d better not touch my toys,”
I say… angrily.

And, as if on cue, my dad yells,
“We’re leaving!”
My sister yawning into my room,
“Are they coming back?”

I know they are. They did before;
four times before. It’s what parents do
when other kids, who look like you,
come and eventually mess with your toys.


And when mom and dad come back,
grinning and smiling, they’ll be happy,
but it won’t last long. It never does.

Mom and dad finally shut it down,
we’re now six… four boys, two girls.
We fight like cats and dogs
but my granny quickly says…

Love doesn’t mind an occasional bumpy road
Love doesn’t mind an occasional tear or two
Love doesn’t mind an occasional cross word
Real love perseveres
Love doesn’t have to be
quiet or peaceful.
It just has to be…
Love.


Author Notes

My best friend and I reminisced today… we do it often. He’s in Baltimore, I’m in Alaska; but IPhones don’t care about distance. Another of my brothers died last summer. There was once six of us. Four boys, two girls. We fought like cats and dogs. There are now just two. We no longer fight. We simply cherish the memories of days gone by... and Love that didn't mind a bump or two.

20 Comments for “Baby Brother”

Raymond Tobaygo

says:

Good morning, Gregory

It’s good to see your posting again!

Enjoyed the images and family dynamics throughout the poem. You’ve captured the essence of ones experiences of growing up in a nuclear family. Enjoyed.

Take care and stay safe,

Ray

Melissa Pierce

says:

I love how this starts as a kid who is about to get another sibling and continues to becoming a reflection back at that time of life. Also, what an amazingly wise and sweet granny to give you those lessons while you were young. Great piece!

Gregory Shipman

says:

Thank you, Melissa… I remember those long gone years and those never lost feelings of growing up with my five siblings… I felt the loss of each one in the same way and yet different because each molded to me in a different way…

Anisa Claire

says:

Hey Greg,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your brother. Second, this poem is beautiful in a realistic way. If that makes sense. It’s beautiful but at the same time a clear reflection of how things ‘really’ are when it comes to family. It has a touch of humour with the bit about the toys and mom being knocked up, but it’s also very touching. I enjoyed the read and also the reminder to cherish connection and moments in life.

Anisa

Gregory Shipman

says:

Thanks much, Anisa… You’ve given me something to think on with your comment, especially the ‘realistic’ part. I did try to capture the essence of ‘family’ as I saw it… looking back ‘in-the-day’ is great inspirational food for me as I attempt to write both thoughts and feelings.

greg

charles stone

says:

Great piece, Bruh Shipman. I too have a big family – eight siblings and it was always wild and crazy, we fought like dogs. And we love like everything. Missing my siblings also. Rock on, Bruh.

Gregory Shipman

says:

We on the same page, Sir Charles… nothing like family, family memories and family get-togethers… getting together is when we build those memories to sustain us when we lose those close to us.

thanks for the read, my friend… glad to be back in the fold

RissRyker518

says:

All I can say is “wow”. This piece was amazing, Greg. I lost two siblings, leaving just my baby brother and I and memories seem to be all we have in common. This piece touches that inner child, transporting the reader back to the growing up days.

Gregory Shipman

says:

Glad we’re ‘reading’ each other again. I’m all full of appreciation for your comments… and it does look like we share our siblings situation (both having only the baby brothers left)…

I look forward to reading your posts again

greg

reigny dai

says:

This is delightful. Leave it to Granny to bring the wisdom. The sixth stanza is my favorite.

Gregory Shipman

says:

Thanks for the read, reigny… both my grandmoms were the matriarchal queens of our family… and clearly that old fashioned level-headedness ruled. My brother laughed when he saw the sixth stanza… being the baby he didn’t have to worry about his toys being taken, missing or broken!

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