by Peter John
The first time that my brother came to visit
My uniform had almost left me mad,
Till on a foreign shore
He found my barracks door,
And I forgot why things had seemed so bad.
A voice I know, a face that looks familiar —
A face that carries features of my own —
He offers me his heart
When mine is torn apart.
He opens up a harbor far from home.
A questing heart, a mind that masters meaning —
A body strong, a soul that earns no shame —
Though I came first in birth
He helps me feel my worth,
And makes me proud to share his family name.
Another time my brother came to visit
When I was free but still had dues to pay.
He stepped into my cell,
Dispelled my private hell
And heaven didn’t seem too far away.
It bothers me to think how much I hurt him
When we were children learning how to grow.
But when I try to say,
He laughs it all away,
And I’m the one afraid to let it go.
So when the Stars and Stripes have brought him homeward,
And set him free to wander once again,
He’s sure to come to me.
I know I’ll never be
As good a man as he’s already been.
The next time that my brother comes to visit
I’ll open up that special jug of wine.
But he can’t help me drink.
So, when he’s gone, I think
I’ll drink it by myself, and I’ll feel fine.
(c) 1990, by Peter John Stone, All Rights Reserved. No use is authorized without permission from author, but the author offers reasonable terms, and entertains any proposals.