At long last, we met on Autumn's cusp.
Impish grin in elfin face,
betrayed body hidden in silvered laughter.
Your brother loved you so!
I sat, musing witness to your tender banter,
So at ease and gentle.
You sensed my fierce commitment
To the brother of my heart, brother of your soul,
And knew that he was safe.
Then, we met for lunch.
No hiding now; three steps to racking cough
Struggling for breath, for soup, for life.
A reed drawing sustenance from companionship and faith,
You brought much joy, my slender friend.
In your bones, you knew,
Even as you wavered between
Choosing life, accepting death.
But God does not negotiate.
At Autumn's cusp, you passed softly.
Silent, breathless, like the first brave leaf of fall.