MP ( / )

Long Term Care

My brother is parked on the side of the road.
I drive past slowly.

My hands are steering my car.
His hands are at his sides.

We all have cars,
Little bubbles with air inside.

We drive back and forth like insects,
Moving body parts, breathing,

Our hearts keeping pace,
Our hands on our steering wheels.

I turn to look as I drive past slowly.
His hands are at his sides.

I know he would wave if he could.
I roll the window up, watch the road.

by Michael Philips

Comments (3)

Michael, this poem has such a razor edge to it. The second time I read 'His hands are at his sides, ' I cried at what you didnt say. Your ending is exactly right. The pain is plain but does not overwhelm the poem. There is dignity here, even though there isnt yet peace. These are dark hours to go through. God bless. Raynette
A heartbreak beautifully conveyed.
It's a poem about the curious relationship between reality and memory. My brother told me a story that he was sat on the top deck of a bus and saw this man walking down the street; he walked, dressed, was of the same physical shape, had the same hair-style and colour...enough to make my brother think it was actually our father (even though he had died 2 months before) and for a few moments my brother was incredulous. Until the bus rolled up next to him and the face was completely different. That might sound a ridiculous story, but I think it has something to do with 'forgetting' for a moment....the brain suspending disbelief and my brother wanting it to be true. That's what your poem makes me think of. I like the clipped last line. The comma makes things more nonchalant and conveys a sense of movement; rather than the word 'and' which would make the reader slow down again. Things keep moving even though the poem's ended.