Lazarus Dies My brother died in my arms the day I thought of you. He saw you once, asked for you, called to you, in his dying days. Sick as a pup without his mother— drunk again, high again, tearing his love and childhood memories of sweet-sassafras hugs into tiny indistinct pieces scattered to the four winds to evaporate with time. He replaced her, he replaced you. Felt you once, your warmth, your talks of forgiveness, of love. Closer than a brother. He let it go somewhere down that bumpy road, or someone thieved it, shattering it, sticking the shard of doubt in his brain like the glass you missed with the dustbin. I wrap him in his burial clothes and somewhere the shard sticks me. Lord, if you were here, my brother’d be alive. Lord, if you’d a been here, he’d a healed. If you’d a been, he’d a believed. If you were here, if you were here.
Veronica McDonald is a poet, fiction writer, artist, mom, and editor of Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. Her poetry, fiction, and art have been published in Lost Pen Magazine, Jersey Devil Press, and Five on the Fifth, among several others. Find out more at: VeronicaMcDonald.com.