You drank too much
and made us uneasy strangers.
You were cruel and cold.
Words curled around cigarettes,
sent to do the work of a dark heart.
Your brother fell
beneath the crushing fist of death.
We were left alone.
Slow days scraped over small bones,
and we bent beneath the weight of grief.
But years gave way
to lives reshaped by faded dreams.
Eyes opened to callousness,
and we guilty of not reaching out.
You weren’t a drunk
but lived as best you knew how.
I can see that now.
You lacked the strength to be there,
in the moments when we needed you.
And we too failed
to acknowledge successes.
To offer respect.
I wish we had shared a beer,
as judgement and fear sat by the fire.