Sestina for my Brother

Kira Plotts

I sometimes like to think
that I would be a better middle child
because my little brother
is a born leader and his smile
makes everyone cock their head in wonder
just how they became a string around his finger.


He likes to push at me with his finger
and try to test my strength but I think
that even he starts to wonder
why he, the middle child
must stand idly beside me and smile
as I introduce him as my little brother.


I have the same heart as my brother
because to be blamed with an angry finger
makes our faces sullen and vanishes our smile.
Yet I know we both wish and think
that to be the other child
would create less heart but more wonder.


As he grew up, I started to wonder
if he was ever happy. My brother
was always a troubled child
but something like a gravel-kissed finger
would make him stand and stare and think
and then wipe the blood away and smile.


It is truly a challenge to not smile
and shake my head in complete wonder
when I force myself to think
about how my younger brother
squirmed and escaped under the finger
of those who intended to dull the child.


I’m positive that the child
inside him, makes him smile
but it’s not something that his calloused finger
can pick up. I know he must wonder
if his status as my little brother
causes anyone else to doubt and think.


I think of him often as a young child
As my sweet brother with an impish smile
But I no longer wonder why he points at me with a jealous finger.


Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240