By Mary Kathleen Felice

my brother’s books

are old with dusty jackets and torn covers
yellow edged and sepia toned pages
many dangling from broken spines

as are we

worn and aged through time

as was he
until his passing
on the most recent of Mothers’ Days
the heavenly reunion of which I’m sure
brought far more than a river of joyful tears to each

my brother’s books

of wild flowers, ferns and grasses
flowering foliage
and flight patterns of old world warblers to sparrows
each, a gift to me
far greater than that of the printed word
each offering a glance through the magnifying glass of life
into the contents of his heart
bringing a discovery of his love and appreciation of creation
and a testament to his insatiable thirst for knowledge

my brother’s books
now held in my hands
hands, now too, weathered with age
are taking prominent residence within my home
bringing him closer to me
in death
than he was in life
each an olive branch of sweet kindness

a bandage to my wounds
gifted to me
painting a picture of a gentler soul
than my brother as I remember him
and the inked tattoo of his reputation as etched over life’s journey

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