Weekly Write: “Elegy for My Brother-in-Law” by Robin Scofield

Elegy for My Brother-in-Law

Your baby learned to wave bye-bye at lunch today;
of course, he doesn’t know what it means as he giggles
in his yogurt the day your left ventricle seized,
and you fell as you were by the kitchen sink
where you left your lighter. You left my sister,
your 13 month-old son, and another in the womb.
Your six-year relationship ends here with her holding
your hand after they pronounce you dead before
you finished falling. Your cousin Eileen is six.
She’s had her share: little brother run over by a van,
and her mother almost died after bariatric surgery.
Your baby could learn a lot about bye-bye from her.
Greg, your mother collapsed sobbing:
Oh Gregory what have you done
Oh Gregory what have you done
and more in her liturgical Hungarian.
Your father died the same way at the same age, 48.
I’m going to be a different dad this time around,
you said, the day before when you hoisted the baby
in your arms or put him on your knee as you played
piano and wrote a letter to your teenage daughter.

Robin Scofield, author of Flow (Street of Trees Projects), winner of the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association, has poems appearing in Ponder Review, The Main Street Rag, and Mocking Heart Review. She writes with the Tumblewords Project in El Paso and attends the San Miguel Poetry Week.




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