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A Prayer for Brothers and Sisters

by AlyTheBookworm


.

I am small hands twined in the dark curls of your hair, your lovely hair.

The thin chest where you’ve fallen- meager solace- as you tremble and quake and melt,

Eyes spilling over with all the things we pretend not to know, that latch to yours and stare,

Desperate, silent, reaching. As if that could convey all I felt.

.

And bring about all that I wish for you,

Like magic words.

.

.

I am arms too short to encircle you, too weak to lift, to mend, to undo,

Like hands cupped against the tide, I try to envelope, to hold and maintain, to become all that you lack,

But you spill through my baby fingers like water,

And I cannot keep you.

.

How bitter it is, how sharp this biting ache, to watch you unravel before my eyes, to watch you-

.

CRACK.

.

.

Like precious porcelain teetering at the edge of the jostled shelf,

At the far end of the room.

.

At the far end.

.

.

I wish I were the long-awaited rescue, the hope to lift your heart, to bear you up and carry,

To take you, flying far from past and present, this hollow space.

I wish I were the miracle summoned by each of your unanswered prayers,

Your sweet sanctuary

To offer all you deserve, the respite you crave and deny, to take the keening memories, and erase

.

the evil that broke you with knife and fist and words like poison and greedy grasping hands that raped our dreams taking destroying defiling what did not belong to it what was not his to touch to take to break again and again and again again and

.

I long to be the one

To cradle you like a child

To flood this empty lack

And make you full

And whole

Somehow.

.

But you pull away.

.

The link fades, like mist under the sun.

My fingers fall from the dark curls of your hair,

Your lovely hair.

You are embarrassed by your tears, by what you can’t unsay.

And all you couldn’t say.

We look at each other, and at the distance that lies between us,

A silent spectator.

A weight on the air, lacing the words in our lungs until they are too heavy to pass through our lips.

We remember that you are the adult, I the child in your care.

And that, of all these things I wish to be for you,

I am none.

.

.

.

There are no magic words.

.

God of mercy,

Let it be enough.

.

God, have mercy.

Let it be enough to say,

“I love you”.

.

.

.


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156 Reviews


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Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:44 pm
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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hey Aly!

I read this a few days back but didn't write any reviews as I feel I am underqualified to be a critic for such an excellent piece. But I couldn't resist coming back and leave my thoughts about it. It all felt so raw and at the same time, I could sense a presence of grief and some remorse induced by some trauma that I'm not quite able to put my finger at. The strange sibling bond can definitely be felt. It's not always open. It's not always that sweet but yeah, it involves a lot of love. The unconditional and sometimes untold one.

The way you tried to portray the narrator being the younger one by phrases like 'small hands' , 'arms too short' felt really sweet. 'Eyes spilling over with all the things we pretend not to know,' I could relate to this as it does happen we tend to not have the strength to confront our problems with our siblings but still want to help but are not sure how to approach them.

Like hands cupped against the tide, I try to envelope, to hold and maintain, to become all that you lack,
But you spill through my baby fingers like water,
And I cannot keep you.

The imagery here sets perfectly. That feeling when you want to just hold onto your loved ones but you lose. (Also, envelope and envelop are separate words and I guess you meant to use the latter one.)

Writing 'crack' in all caps and in a separate line felt like a beat drop! The emotional pain could be easily felt from that very word. You had a varying structure throughout the poem, but I really liked the raw feelings it conveyed and the enjambment was on point.

the evil that broke you with knife and fist and words like poison........

This particular stanza had a very different kind of emotions coming out as compared to the rest, especially the transition from its previous stanza, which showed the narrator's earnest desire to be a savior in their sibling's life <3 While the next one quoted had a different tone, mixed with rage and regret, something is pointing towards a trauma that we can't really tell what. But still writing it in italics added extra emphasis to it. I suggest adding a few commas in between some places in this stanza because while reading aloud, it kind of felt awkward and it got mixed up. But this felt like the most potent part of your poem in terms of emotions, so you are free to keep it your way.

The ending part felt really emotional and I was just reading it all over and over again. The theme itself got me hooked and wanted me to leave my thoughts here. I'm the youngest of three siblings and shared two different relations with my elder brother and sister. The common thing was love and concern that was always hidden in some way or the other in whatever we did. I lost my sister a few months ago and only I know how the grief and pain will remain forever. Even though we'll move way ahead in our lives, but the fact won't change that we had left a piece of our heart behind. The trauma will live fresh in our worst memories forever because it is not something you would just get over with after waking up one morning. People will continue to put a time limit on the grieving part but they will never understand how we feel everyday, the emptiness.

Anyways, I didn't have much to critic on how to improve it because I'm no expert myself. But I would definitely say this was pure one and you did justice to it <3

Great work!
Keep writing :)






I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Our siblings are for sure pieces of our hearts, and always will be. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts Hkumar- I really appreciate this <3



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Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:49 pm
SadboyJay wrote a review...



hey i im here to give you an quick review🥰

lets get started

First off i im not like that good at poetry and i know for sure is people use thoughts to make poems like these and yours i can tell that you writed yours down and thought about it and woo your poem was amazing it was so un impressive what did you do to make a poem like this i wanna know cause i im not that good at poetry

My Compliment is what you do when you make your poems cause i im not that good at poems like that so thats why i im asking you how you do your poems like cause this one on what i read was incredible it was a vibe poem

how you can improve is i would like someone or anyone to make a poem about roses i just want anyone to make a poem about roses like a vibe poem about roses or something i will be glad to read it if its anything along if its still a poem

-jay have a good day keep writing!!






Thanks for reading Jay <3



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Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:36 am
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DeliriumNervosa wrote a review...



Hi AlyTheBookworm, Delirium Nervosa here to leave a review on your poetry.

I am not a poet myself, however, I really enjoy reading the talents of other writers. And your poem did not disappoint! It was so raw and heartfelt. I loved how you didn't elude to the backstory behind the piece. You left it so general, that it was easy to interpret it personally and relate it to my own experiences. This is something not a lot of poets or authors are able to do. So I congratulate you whole heartedly on achieving this within your poem.

I felt like I could really connect to this piece. I am the eldest sibling to a brother and a sister. We don't have the most stable relationships and growing up, they were pretty tumultuous at times. It made me stop and think. Really look at the experiences, memories and connections I have with my siblings and to be grateful that I still have them. A lot of people don't. They have either lost them, become estranged or never had them to begin with. So thank you for reminding me to be grateful for my family and the love we have for one another.

- Delirium Nervosa






Thanks for the comment Delirium! I'm glad you enjoyed it.





Were there any things you felt could be fixed/improved? I don't write too much poetry, so I'm looking for as much advice and constructive criticism as I can get :)





Honestly, not really. I am not the best poet myself but I loved the way you wrote this and I thought it was lovely. I am a "rhyming" poem girl so to read poems that are out of the box or following a different structure is very interesting to me. Keep it up.





That's alright. Thanks for reading! c:



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Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:44 am
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PhoenixEmberly wrote a review...



Whoo! Poems aren't exactly my strong suite, but it won't stop me from enjoying/reviewing them! Just take what I say with a tiny grain of salt.

Grammar/Style: The grammar seems absolutely spot on from my point of view. This read like an extremely professional poem to me; It wouldn't be something out of place in a poetry compilation book. Already off to a good start!

Subject matter: One of the reasons why I'm not too good with poems is that often their subject is open ending and intentionally left to the interpretation of the readers. This read as a very emotional piece to be, that much is certain. It comes off as an expression of love and disappointment from one party onto another. Someone who cares deeply for someone else, yet lacks the ability to express that care, perhaps?

I'm not sure if that's the intention, but it's how it came across to me. Maybe that's the beauty of poetry. There isn't necessarily a correct or incorrect way to interpret a piece. Thank you for posting this for all to read!






Thanks for the review Phoenix! Glad you liked it.

As for the meaning, I'll try to leave it mostly up to interpretation, and say only that two of the main themes are trauma and survivor's guilt, and that it's based a memory of my older brother (the character with dark curls, or "you").

Welp. I'll try not to give away TOO much haha. I'm curious to see how people interpret this, so thanks for sharing your personal thoughts on its meaning c:




Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
— Voltaire