Howard Talbot Walden Hyde

Today would have been

My Brother’s 56th birthday —

he died at 45

innocent on a jail house floor —

My Beautiful Brother

conceived in Gabon

when Our Mother was ill

He was born during The Cuban Missile Crisis

and took that to Heart —

It coloured His outlook

of fear

though He was brave at six

when I threw His shiny red fire truck

down the cellar stairs —

He was brave at eleven

when I pushed Him off

the bow of Our Mother’s Molly

and He was brave at seventeen

when I told Him “No”

after he asked, “Don’t you love Me?”

 

He played the clarinet & saxophone

and made up stories about two clowns

named Jane Rane and Rank Raunk

while I pretended in a baby voice

He was “Uncle Howie”

and We played “Mail”

under the bathroom door

 

He followed Me like a shadow

jealous when I first married —

Our Mother had Howard give Me away

 

He built Me up with His Devotion

all the times I was ill after Our Mother died

and I slammed Him down

into the ground of Pine Grove Cemetary

in Shelburne, Nova Scotia

wailing on Our Father’s Shoulder

 

Note:  The ghost of My Dear Brother haunts a part of My House — My Second Husband’s former Library where I installed a memorial to Howard with a painting of poppies the heavy frame of which warped the day I hung it there.