With My Brother
Untying ropes from flagpoles.
Motionless, reluctant, unchanged
even by the stillness of flags
in a century of ordinary flags. How
I love to ride with my brother
even if below our joy persists
a collective hush and something
like Lake Michigan in which we know
the day is long and the once true things
still are: What will I throw my weight
into today? Where are the sour
among the sweet cherries? The salt
from sweat makes our skin stick
but my brother is full of privilege
and things that comfort, of family
anger, that old-house feeling.
Copyright © 2015 by Robert Ostrom. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 4, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.