This week’s letter is “R”, and I’ve used the host’s marvelous drawing and her five prompt words: Rome; relief; rhyming; run; robin. Click the link above to learn more about the challenge, and join in!
The robin rescued my reality.
My brother, Richard, invited me
To vacation in Rome—though he
Knows I despise traveling, hardly
Leave my neighborhood.
He’s visited most of the world
And I always say, “bring back
Lots of photos!”
He does each time, and I fully
Enjoy them without stress
Of actually going somewhere.
So, while I love Italian movies
Food, music, I said, “no thanks”
Hugged him hard, kissed his cheek.
“You don’t know what you’re
Missing”, he said—and I called
“Bring back lots of photos!”, as
He ran to board his plane.
I felt relief, happiness when he
Phoned to say he’d safely arrived
To begin another adventure.
He considers my life less ‘vibrant’
Likes to tease, but realizes I’m
Well-content in my smaller world
Cooking, writing, talking to birds
Outside my window.
The crows are my pals, and I
Relish visits from seagulls
Lone blue jay, sparrows, wee
Chickadees. I wake, and fall
Asleep to birdsong every day—
Who wouldn’t be joyful?
I don’t need to travel.
I expected Richard’s return, next day
And was surprised by an afternoon call.
I’d been watching the robin, faithfully
Perched next to my windowsill—
Peering in, observing my activities.
Chuckling, I picked up the phone, “hello?”
Within single moment, life changed.
My brother Richard, best friend I
Loved with all my heart—was dead.
The tour bus he was on had been
Bombed, no survivors.
I should have accompanied him…
Days, weeks, months passed in
Blurry shock, initially…then waves
Of agonizing grief, sorrow, crashing
Into and nearly drowning me—
Particularly the day a package was
Delivered. Somehow Richard’s
Camera, loaded with photos, had
Found its way home unharmed.
His death ripped through me
I’d never known such pain, didn’t
Think I could live… I surely couldn’t
Write—rhyming had deserted me
Leaving choppy lines of incoherent
Phrases lacking cohesion.
But his pictures were filled with life
His handsome smile embraced
Me from every scenic spot.
The one daily touchstone of divine
Grace was my robin—eyes turned
Toward me, searching my heart
With compassion, empathy…as if
To say, “you can do it, you’re strong
Because you have a brother’s love
And God above, holding you both.”
©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.