Roosevelt

 

 

Cornelius Eady, Poetry

 

 

My younger brother can’t be fixed;

His love cannot be reasoned with.

It shambles a shabby house,

It turns glass and furniture

into breakage and tumble,

His slaps and kicks are turning heavyweight.

 

And when he grows, the baby in him

will never leave; his tongue will never fit

a word, his hands never learn

their small accidents and miracles.

 

But who would stand against a boy

who never falls out of love?

That’s the way we see my father,

Daddy who said—this kid can’t be mine,

 

Daddy who says—we can’t keep him,

and sits my mother down

while we’re at school

with the papers and a white woman

 

The papers and a white lady

my mother told us later,

as if bad was in the room,

worse was on the corner

 

if she didn’t give in.