I had monsters made of string and mismatched things

He has them still, in broken bushes and stolen pages

Treasures he would imbue with heart of yew

With goblin blood and petty cruelty

I ridicule and remonstrate but still I watch him every day

All I have are bundled strings and working things

Kempt surfaces and cubbyholes

And I know that he fights monsters, but all that I observe

Is the snow left to shovel, the spills left to cover

With disposables and paint

I had monsters made of string and mismatched things

And they were wilder and brighter and stronger

Than words could fashion or he could imagine

Should anyone write, or should he try

He won’t think to try, and the streets haven’t dried

Of the cars and ice and time that are mine to fight

While he makes swords and fiery floors

Always, in the corner of my mind


Elizabeth Cook, 2014


My sister knew right away what this one was about – having the younger brother that we do, and having seen how he and I rarely get along.