Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Oldest Brother

My oldest brother caught the imagination 
of his younger siblings he ventured into the world first, 
well liked and intelligent, elders hung their dreams 
on him, a good boy with a strong faith, the priest

chose him as one of their own, taking him away 
from home, educating him in the ways of the lord 
but couldn’t keep their hands off him.

He had to get away but the war in Vietnam was raging
got drafted within the first year. Sent off to fight 

the 'cong in the jungles. Found a life of debauchery, 

filled with sex and drugs, facing death was easier 
with a drug induced numbness, sent home broken 
and addicted, still seeking the adrenaline high

through Hollywood fame, acting classes, 

black and white photos, comedy routines 
at open mics, night clubs and all the drugs 
with almost pretty girls who wanted him 
but couldn’t tie him down.

They moved away when he started 

to arm with guns seeking to protect 
himself from strangers who would take his life.
Some of them real, others imaginary, 

couldn’t live around the familiar 
preferred the dark streets of L.A. 
where other lost souls wandered

and yet in the minds of his family he was still a hero,
misunderstood and abused by a system 

he was sworn to protect, 

no matter the evidence, 
still an innocent boy from long ago
intelligent, funny and spiritual. 

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