(“Der Krieg,” by Otto Dix,)

He was home for two years before I saw him smile. During the funeral for a friend. I saw it. A smile that could turn a life upside down.

We got home, I turned on the game, he stared at the wall. I guess he couldn’t get past the one in his head. I learned not to interrupt, but I never felt uncomfortable around him until now.

“ Bro! Were you smiling at the funeral?”

He stood up. “If you listen, life teaches you to remember everything good and bad. You learn to find the pleasure in both.” That was all he said.

Damn… I missed being able to make him smile. That’s all I wanted. He was my older brother. I just wanted to make him happy again, the way we used to be.

I wonder if he was smiling when he woke up in the morning. As he looked into my cold lifeless eyes, or at my funeral.

I love you Bro. I hope your happy.

This is dedicated to all my folks coming home from the military and prison.

-AM

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