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September 2008, vol 4 no 3

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Lynne Rees


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 seventeen who has lived in the States for the past ten years, a boy of eleven whose mother disappeared with him when he was a few months old leaving no note about where she was going, 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

On a rainy summer afternoon one summer holiday, my sister and I taught him to play a card game called 'Switch'. His hands were so little he struggled to hold them all, and when he left the table for a moment we 'spiked' his cards, giving him the four Jacks that would easily win him the game. His eyes sparkled and his smile stretched a little wider 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

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