Poetry Porch: Poetry


In Praise of My Brother
By George Kalogeris

       after Szymborska

My brother doesn’t write poems. And doesn’t read them
Either—except for mine, which he always says
He really likes, but doesn’t always get.

My brother’s a physical therapist. Helping bodies
In pain is his specialty. His supple hands
Are strong and knowledgeable. He has his own practice.

My brother’s wife too, does not write poems, but she’s
An excellent cook of Greek cuisine, and they
Delight in hosting our family gatherings.

Neither one of our parents would ever dream
Of writing poems. Instead they sang to each other
The beautiful lyrics of their village songs.

But it’s their prosaic refrain: “Ela, Yorgo.
How will you make a decent living, and raise
A family?” that haunts my poetry.

O priceless, extravagant, lyrical life of the mind!
Lucky for me my brother is good at making
Sound investments, and gives his advice for free.

My brother doesn’t write poems. And yet whenever
I go to his house and sit at the family table
Of living memory, I feast on the voices.

It was after a reading the poet Jonathan Aibel
Came up to me and said: “I know your brother.
He brought the feeling back to my right hand.”

Copyright © 2021 by George Kalogeris.