The last time I saw my brother he winced, pushing open the lawyer’s heavy glass door into a windy downtown street. We’d just signed father’s will. Twenty’d get me to Kamloops, but forty’d be better. No blond curls or impish grin. Hair like leaf skeletons blown across the blue eyes he got from his Mother. No sparkle.
That Christmas he phoned. Making a fresh start: editing videos and glazing burl tables in Penticton. As a boy his ambidextrous pitch meant he’d be a winner. Aim for a Rhodes Scholarship, Father urged.
A gift for stories. Long time cabbie. Big talker but a loner – a decade on an island, years in basement rooms, no sisters permitted. Dyslexic. Depressed. Heavy. Clever – trained as a chef – but the jobs ran out.
Lost from the bottom bunk. We used to sing each other to sleep. His bank called: loan payment and Visa overdue. Traced to Edmonton and thin air.
Jane Munro’s four books of poetry include Daughters, a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and, most recently, Point No Point. She lives on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The above excerpt is from Point No Point by Jane Munro. Copyright © 2006 by Jane Munro. Reprinted by permission of McClelland & Stewart. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.