Go Forward!

An opaque sky clots in the throat
Like wet cement,

Bloated words siphoning color
From dawn’s thin fingers

He was born today
A “Sherman tank” built to play

Throwing stones and balls and
Hotdog bites from his highchair tray

Wearing cowboy boots that didn’t breathe
So neither could we!
“Hi, ho, Silver, away!”
The call of his day

Trading up from Big Wheel and black Huffy
To BMX and curvy tracks,

Indian dirt bike to street-sleek Kawasaki
Navy pick-up to snow white SUV
With an infant seat

Decades of sun-drenched days,
Punt, Pass and Kicked into seasons of

Hockey, soccer,
Baseball and golf

Travel teams and
State champs

Team captain
Player, coach,
Ref, ump
Brother, husband
Son, daddy


There would have been 43
flames on his cake today

but his heart stopped

in June…at 32

A sun baked season of tears
As the opaque sky clotted in my throat
like wet cement

And little boys sprouted like spring grass
casting rods,
skipping stones and
batting balls into seasons of

Hockey, soccer
Baseball, football,

Travel teams and
State champs

Team captain
Players, ref

Jerseys steeping sun-drenched days
Into color

Glove, stick, ball, puck
Shoot, strike, goal, run


Daring to breathe

And embrace his cry,
“Go Forward!”

*In honor of my brother, who wrung every drop out his 32 years. Your cry, “Go Forward!” is ever in my heart, and I love you!

This post is part of the February Christian Writers’ Blog Chain on the topic “Leap” in honor of Leap Day. Check out all the LEAP posts by clicking on the sidebar links.


27 thoughts on “Go Forward!

  1. Leslie

    Thank you for sharing this – the love and admiration you have for your Brother and who he was is clearly reflected. Thank you for letting us in your thoughts and heart this morning. I’m now going to give my Brother a call – something I should do more often.


  2. The simplicity and brevity of your words carry such impact – such weight. . . Far more than the most eloquent eulogy could , I might even dare to say. I cannot imagine a better tribute to a brother that you so obviously treasured. Thank you for sharing such an intimate poem. You are truly a word artist.


  3. Beautiful, emotional. You brought tears to my eyes as I have been there. I lost my little brother. He was murdered at the age of 16. So many painful memories, but happy ones as well. Thank you for sharing your joy and pain.


  4. Oh my. Laughter blossomed only to be woven into tears. Thank you for sharing this poem. So poignant. So bittersweet. I am sorry for your loss, Cindee, and so glad you have such wonderful memories of him.


  5. Thank you for sharing your heart and your brother with us in such a meaningful way, Cindee. May you and your family feel God’s arms around you as you remember your brother’s life.


  6. I thought this was just going to be a sweet poem about children growing up. Then I reached the middle and everything changed. This is a powerful and very moving poem – a great honour to your brother.

    It’s good that he left you with such inspirational thoughts.
    I am sorry for your loss.


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