April 2018

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Imagine my Surprise

Imagine that you just learned that your little brother won the Kentucky Derby. You don't have a little brother? Imagine that you just learned that you have a little brother that  you didn't know about and that he won the Kentucky Derby. Your brother is not the rider or the owner. You brother is the horse. Surprised?

That's how I felt when I received an email from my brother Matt on Sunday saying that he had just read Mary Oliver's poem "The Journey," and it made him think of me.

My little brother is reading poetry.

When we were young and went to the beach and the mountains each summer with our family, Mom, Dad, Jennifer and I would read. Once, we were reading the engrossing story of North Carolina's Green Beret Geoffrey McDonald, who murdered his family and disguised the murder to look like the work of a crazy religious sect. We were enthralled. We took turns reading the book. I remember setting my alarm for 2 a.m. so that I could read for my assigned slot that night from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Brother Matt didn't take a turn.

Brother Matt didn't read much. I believe he was a senior in high school the first time he read a whole book on his own: The Catcher in the Rye. The family celebrated his great progress.

I've known for years that Brother Matt's become an avid reader. Now he's reading poetry, poetry that I love, and he found it on his own. I'm delighted and stunned.

Not one for poetry? You should check out Mary Oliver. Brother Matt and I find solace in her. Mary

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