Big brothers rough-house in the house head down
like billygoats. Their bootleg Wranglers slip
down skinny hips so you can see their underwear
and they don’t care. Big brothers sing the blues
in twos across the table, pick their noses
like roses, pop the heads off baby dolls.
Their hearts are hard and small as sourballs.

Big brothers leave the seat up. They get beat up,
their black eyes bloated, tender as live toads.
Their elbows hit the roads. They stuff their guts
with Dagwood sandwiches, and belch and fart
with pride. Big brothers hide in shady shacks
and smoke and drink and think there’s nothing wrong.
Sometimes they even let you tag along.

Rose Kelleher

If you have any comments on this poem, Rose Kelleher  would be pleased to hear them.