Bill

From Paper Wings

You died, and then I dreamed we were young again.
You fed me sweet cake, spreading it over my lips
so I could taste it. I wake to the scent of gardenia,
creamy petals, deckled brown
crushing against your blue serge suit.
I’ll See You In My Dreams, always the final cut
the disc jockey played to wind up another holiday ball.

When I learned you were sick I wrote, reminded you
of the ‘snowball dance’ we won at Judy Blackey’s party;
how you doubled me back over your arm, kissed me
under the mistletoe.
I wore pale yellow net, boned bodice with a frill
to hide my budless chest, and after supper
you ‘dosey-doed’ my strapless dress from front to rear
and when I thought you weren’t looking
I swung it back.

Earlier still, your sweet trebles at our piano −
my brother, you,
rehearsing Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado:
the light rain of your voice falling fifty years
like a continuing sentence.
How you noted my name.