for my brother, a poem by Chris Wind

(for my brother)


with a grunt of irritation

you condescend to be interrupted

and move your chair back a bit

so i can crawl

under your desk

(the one dad built special for you

now that you’re at university)

so i can dust the baseboards

as is my job

(i’ve already done the rest of your room)

i’m quiet

careful not to disturb

because it’s hard stuff, important stuff

you’re doing

(i’m still only in high school

but you’re at university now

it must be harder

you’re getting only 60s)

i turn around in the cramped space

on my hands and knees

and see your feet

i think about washing them

i think about binding them


the guidance counsellor pauses

then discourages

“philosophy’s a very difficult field”

and i thought

(no, not then, later)

i thought, she’s telling the kid

who has the top marks in the school

it’s too difficult?


it’s true

i just find it easier

besides, compared to business

philosophy is such a bird course

no, that’s a lie:

i’m smarter

and i work harder–

while you’re out with your friends

friday nights

i’m at work

because my summer job didn’t pay enough

to cover the whole year

and while you’re watching tv

i’m at work

(at ten o’clock

after six hours of lectures

and just as many of typing and filing)

i move the set

so i can crawl

into the corner

to dust the baseboards

you lean and yell in irritation

because i’m in your way

because i’m in your way


from dreaming of kaleidoscopes


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