Poem written by Helen Gatenby-Holt
Brother, soldier believe
I brought you down here to tell you, ‘I will
always be there for you.’
the words rung out, mincing with his unease.
Taut, as if locked into a straight jacket
He winced, visibly, having no intention of demeanor.
Even his loose thick curls refrained from bobbing about
on his head in their usual way. Derpitude.
Secluded, here by the riverside, she had him
tongue over fist. He wished she wasn’t so goddamn
Kind. All her embraces, her brave face, made him
Uneasy. He was no longer shy. Just angry.
There was a swell in the movement of air and river combined.
Rocks translucent. Almost. Breathing.
Autumn had snuck up like a harmless visitor
Bringing only amber, gold and tweed as its offerings.
No matter how much we refused winter, those specks
of red, dare not resist. The knuckle-dust
thrust its spearhead into the ashes, lacing the river bank.
He darted his eyes abruptly to a moth gathering speed in
the dusk. A stone’s throw, the sun disappeared behind
a coniferous. His body was utterly unmoving, ankles
to wrist. The river darkened underneath.
‘we better get back then’, left her no option.
He stood, like a soldier, so swift she barely noticed,
the deftness with which he stole a stone
Slipped it into his pocket and eyed the road.
He had hoped she would not catch him,
Not liking to please her, she was sinfully happy enough.