Wrong Son

by Jeff Hardin

The wrong son died, my mother hissed.
So many days I’ve tried to live to let go
of who I might have been if I had stayed.
My brother has no grave, no age. There
were families I didn’t belong to, still don’t.
Much I don’t want was never offered anyway.
There were corn rows, though, I walked down,
hidden from view, a hay loft of bales to tuck
behind, a path through the woods my mind
still takes. I placed a buckeye on a fencepost
as if to hold the spinning earth in place. I
(and everything I came to be) emerged from
there. I needed to breathe. Words became air.