Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Stabosz brothers, Thanksgiving 2008

My husband Bill, a native Chicagoan, travels home each year for Thanksgiving. He's been doing this since his mother Helen (of blessed memory) first took sick many years ago.  This year our baby Emily and her husband Scott, expecting their own baby in less than a month, traveled with him.

Here is a Kodak moment from Thanksgiving at sister Marge's - the three Stabosz brothers. From left to right these are Wally, Tom and Bill -- youngest, oldest and middle brother. 

I wanted to find a brother poem to go with this picture.  After a bit of browsing I settled on this one, from Thomas Merton, even though narrative-wise it is not appropriate. But this is my favorite poem about the love between brothers.  And being that, 25 years later, we are still at war, and men still grieve their brothers, it is not all that inappropriate. 

For My Brother - Missing in Action 1943

Sweet brother, if I do not sleep
My eyes are flowers for your tomb;
And if I cannot eat my bread,
My fasts shall live like willows where you died.
If in the heat I find no water for my thirst,
My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveller.

Where, in what desolate and smokey country,
Lies your poor body, lost and dead?
And in what landscape of disaster
Has your unhappy spirit lost its road?

Come, in my labor find a resting place
And in my sorrows lay your head,
Or rather take my life and blood
And buy yourself a better bed -
Or take my breath and take my death
And buy yourself a better rest.

When all the men of war are shot
And flags have fallen into dust,
Your cross and mine shall tell men still
Christ died on each, for both of us.

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain,
And Christ weeps in the ruins of my spring:
The money of Whose tears shall fall
Into your weak and friendless hand,
And buy you back to your own land:

The silence of Whose tears shall fall
Like bells upon your alien tomb.
Hear them and come: they call you home.

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