We sit across from each other
at the supper table of fresh salmon
He like an old pair of slippers
from the back of my closet
I like a pair of his golf shoes
always pinching at the toes
Growing up I always thought of him
as what I expected I would become

But now I see in him my father
a quiet man grown gentle in time
standing at the book cases
reading the titles of books
he’s never had time to read
of lives in search of love
His own life having been spent
reading of God in search of life

I often find him lost in thought
as though untying some inner knot
A fisherman bent over a reel
whose line has been snarled
A river guide without a boat
studying the stream’s flow
not as though to teach to others
as to find his own way home


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to Brothers

  1. oh how this resonates with me – I lost my brother, my best friend, 30 years ago and it aches still


  2. Your words paint pictures and this one is a masterpiece, sir.


  3. kiwiskan says:

    love this, and also remembering a brother…


  4. kiwiskan says:

    Especially like those last three lines – sums it up for me


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