By: G. Louis Heath
His brother had been too soft, not soft like his Mom,
just weak. In his brother was enough of his mercurial,
entrepreneurial, indulgent Dad to spoil him and enough
of his gentle Mom to soften him, but not enough of
either to save him from his own shotgun. Dad had denied
her all she wanted by his next-big-venture rootlessness,
never settling down to the stable family life she coveted.
Yet, that nomadic life made her what she wanted to be.
As she grayed, the more she flowered in herself. The older
and wealthier he got, the more he fell apart. His bluster and
con weakened as her true strength waxed on. His friends left
him as her circle grew. He sunk lower through the years, as
she rose. He did not mourn after her death. Resentment filled
him at the loss of her saintly self-sacrifices and soured his final
days. A month after he died, his last son heard about it with relief.
G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem he pulls from his back pocket, weather permitting. His books include Leaves Of Maple: An Illinois State University Professor’s Memoir of Seven Summers’ Teaching in Canadian Universities, 1972-1978, Long Dark River Casino, and Redbird Prof: Poems Of A Normal U, 1969-1981. He has published poems in a wide array of journals.