7 August 2005
Queen's highway was passage way to Kingston.
Kilometers race away in the rear view mirror.
Did you see that dull gray tower standing alone?
Seagulls sweep into view calling aggressively.
Is this the world your brother saw so many years ago?
You drive on in silence, thinking of his courage.
Insects splatter and the car growls as you speed up.
The old men at the draft board could not comprehend
the unjust nature of the death warrants issued.
But you remember your mother's face when he told you
"I'm going to Canada. I may not come back."
Her eyes were simultaneously sad and happy.
She said that she would pray for him, "but don't come back."
All the same, at her funeral you looked for him.
Now turning onto Princess Street, downtown Kingston,
your heart is racing for you can sense his presence.
There it is! The restaurant in the brick building,
awning bearing his name, tables and chairs outside.
You look through the large plate glass windows. There he is!
wearing a smile and an apron, talking away
to a customer. You assume he's a stranger,
but is treated as a friend. Your brother's face is devoid
of the pain, the stress, the memories that you bear
rather poorly, ghosts brought back from Viet Nam.
© 2005, Satya J. Gabriel