It wasn’t until my younger brother’s ashes
had been strewn into space from a rocket in New Mexico
nearly year after his death that I recognized
the strength of the sibling bond.
Outliving the five years expected after a devastating
brain tumor diagnosis nearly a decade ago
embracing life to the fullest- France, Italy, Switzerland,
Sal just missed the graduation of his eldest son from high school.
We all knew it was coming — eventually
but then again we really didn’t
dubbing his final farewell a celebration
requesting we wear colorful attire — Sal directed the party.
So festive, so much love for a man
a gem of a brother, husband, father and son
anyone could be lucky enough to know
but then came dreams — for me the first of this kind.
The sibling connection manifested itself
during the grey areas between wake and sleep
Save — Budget — he advised
run — run from him — he warned.
I didn’t cry at the celebration of his 50 years
but tonight I weep for the man who
became my friend — not just brother — and
confidante on how to live and die graciously.
-This poem is dedicated to my brother, Sal Miceli, who lost his battle with brain cancer four years ago.