We are lucky this week to have a lovely, nostalgic poem for you from Kingston MA alum and returning Words, Pauses, Noises contributor David Russomano.
This piece is striking for its use of strong, simple images, hinting at the subtleties of sibling dynamics through the journey of one object as it changes hands.
When your oldest brother’s birthday
finally comes, he gets that action figure
he’s been nagging your mom about non-stop
for months—the dashing super hero
from his latest favourite Saturday morning
cartoon show; call it The Adventures
of Alpha Male. Well, for as long as this
mini protagonist holds his attention
with its sculpted muscles, spring-loaded
uppercut and plastic weapons, he’s the centre
of epic Alpha Male battles, fighting fiercely
alongside Alpha Male’s allies, dishing out
brutal defeats to Alpha Male’s enemies.
Unlike his capricious classmates,
your brother never decapitates the hero
or twists off his legs on a whim; he’s careful.
The TV show is cancelled
before you’re old enough to tune in
and the toys are discontinued,
but the hand-me-down champion is still
in fair condition when you swap his sword
with an AK47, give him the power of flight,
make lasers shoot out of his eyes, and
sometimes, if it suits your game, cast him
in the role of villain.
Any reader with siblings will be able to identify instantly with both the tenderness and the final hint of rebellion captured here.
Join us next week for another great piece of creative writing!