Brother

Terry let me play his harmonica

(only train noises.) He strummed

his guitar. All I remember

is ‘Last Train to San Fernando’

and the briefcase full of 45s

he’d borrowed from his friend.

The Dansette was red-hot.

We all Shadows-danced

and harmonised with The Everlys.

 

Terry got a job. I was six.

He didn’t like it much. The kids were hard

and he was soft. They gave him hell.

He left. He caught the boat to Liverpool.

I was seven. Men never write

but once a letter came. He’d met a girl.

She didn’t share his faith (or lack of faith.)

He loved her. Her parents disapproved.

An unambitious bum, not good enough

for precious daughter. Our parents

disapproved. The marriage was outside The Faith.

We didn’t go, and I was ten

 

Terry died one night while watching telly.

I was twenty-three. His kids were there

and his Beautiful Girl. We went to her church then.

He’d hardly ever worked

but spent days with his best friend

still playing 45s. I didn’t know him well

but I miss him.

He was my brother.

First published in Star Tips for Writers

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