brook house 1

By Barbara Eknoian

When Marlon Brando tells
his brother,
“I could have been a contender,
I could have been somebody,”
I stifle a cry.

My baby brother could have been
another Louie Bellson, or Phil Collins,
And the other one
wth his silver tongue,
could have out-dueled
Johnny Cochran and Shapiro
in the courtroom.
Heroin lured the drummer
to the streets, and he jives
with the best of the jazz bands
only in his mind.
Marijuana softened
my other brother’s frown.
He holds his idealistic views,
like Jerry Brown,
in the corners
of his “What’s happening!” mind.

Previously published in JERKUMSTANCES, published by Pearl Editions.

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