Lazarus Dies – a poem by Veronica McDonald

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:

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