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My brother, I still see sun-dappled pebbles through the ripples
Where we walked barefoot upstream in the brook,
And, though we’d heard it was the speckled trout’s domain,
Only chubs and shiners found our hook.

The willow tree, how far it leaned out across the creek.

And we climbed out and swung, our reflection blent with leaf and sky.

And laughed about our tiny catch,
A string of minnows much too small to fry.

So much for trout; the only speckles I could see
Were the freckles on your sunny, smiling freckled face
And sun-sprinkled speckles in your hazel eyes,
My vision of a happy, carefree childhood place.

A man of letters you became,
A family man of dignity and worth,
With steadiness and still a jaunty understated wit,
Whose avocations ranged from flying over clouds
To guiding younger hands and minds
In the grandeur of nature and practicalities of it.

That last flight, you were airborne so suddenly
That we, earthbound, found it hard to see,
To realize your time had come to soar above the clouds
And to perceive your journey’s majesty.

These days, I like to think of you up there
Sitting, swinging on that willow, your laurels in hand,
Reflecting out among the leaves and sky,
While I wave at you, smiling, from the land.

©2010 Carol Morfitt

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