2 Poems: Little Brother & Little Brother, Gone

Little Brother


I long so much to help you,
but I’m over mountains
and deserts,
so far away

little brother,
keep dancing
little brother,
breathe

Are you really missing
if we’re sure we know
where you are now?  I hear
a palm whisper,
I see the desert sun

little brother,
keep running
little brother,
what have you done?

You said everything
was a sign and I believed
you; you lied when you said
you were doing just fine

There are too many
birthdays in this season
and no one left to celebrate,
will you be one more
we mourn?

little brother,
stay awhile longer
little brother,
I’m not so strong

I sleep with the phone now,
mumbling prayers, sending
ravens and eagles
to protect you, begging angels
never to forsake you

little brother,
please come home
little brother,
you’re not alone



March 3, 2019



Little Brother, Gone


this isn’t history,
no mystery,
brother,
you’re locked in a room
again, little brother
in solitude

confinement,
solitary,
alone, little brother,
alone

I waited too long to ask
after you, I was angry;
little brother,
none of us know
what we do

this phone
isn’t you,
little brother,
those bars
are not arms
to fall into

brother,
I cried
& tried,
it was never enough,
little brother,
for you

what happens now,
little brother?
what will
this new system
do to you?



September 16, 2020


Note: I’ve written a lot about my younger brother over the past few years. I was thinking of this older poem once I got some news on him tonight & wrote this in response to the older piece. Please, if you will, keep him & my family in your thoughts & prayers. My brother hasn’t been well for a long time & a lot of that came to a head tonight. I’m hoping he may be able to get some help now in managing his mental illness. I miss him. I worry about him. Now I’m truly afraid for him, but he is safe for right now, thank God.


Published by Jennifer Patino

Poet.