Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Brother Tom

Deprived of oxygen at birth
Or so the doctors say.
No telling now, to say just how,
My brother got this way.

Before his second trip around
The calendar had made,
My mom she knew, but hated to,
Admit what doctors bade.

He’s just a little slow she said.
Don’t tell me such bad news.
She shed a tear, and then did fear,
Just what her son would lose.

A loving wife, a family,
Her son would never know.
Where will he stay that fateful day,
When it’s my time to go?

No time to worry now you see,
Young Tommy how he grew.
Then daddy died and Tommy cried,
Mom had no troubles few.

By now he traveled far to school,
The bus he had to take.
His habit stare a frightful glare,
He often now would make.

No harm was meant by such a look,
But others didn’t know.
They took offense, and then did hence,
Give Tom a bloody nose.

Those times were hard for brother Tom,
Emotions flamed and flared.
Though loud he be, would hurt no flea,
But made my mother scared.

Those boys they poked their fun at Tom,
And called him ugly names.
For Tom a time of hateful crime,
For them, just fun and games.

Protecting Tom mom moved away,
Another side of town.
Here friends he found from all around,
To chase away his frown.

His quirky habits people there
Had fondly come to know.
His funny sounds and headlight round,
His swaying to and fro.

To clothing quite attached he grew,
His favorite pants and shirt.
He’d only change if in the range,
Of caked with sweat and dirt.

A shave and shower daily mom,
Would urge her son to take,
But every instance met resistance,
With shimmy and with shake.

When through with school, how mom would fret.
What can this young man do?
Will anyone with patience come,
With work dear Tom for you?

Her humble prayer was answered when
A fine French restaurant
Said sure, we’ll try this special guy,
Who now for work is want.

A blessed man he worked with there.
To Tom he was so kind.
With patient love from up above,
None better could you find.

But by and by, the man moved on.
No advocate had Tom.
Long suffering lost, Tom paid the cost.
To him they said: Move on.

No more a place in normalcy
For Tom could there be found.
And so from there he went to where,
Less fortunate are found.

Goodwill and then the JVC
Would occupy his time.
A simple way to spend his day,
But exercised his mind.

When on in years he needed care
More frequently than past,
He came to count on Eldermount,
Activity at last!

When looking at the life of Tom
How many scarce can find,
What good was he for you and me?
This man with half a mind?

I must confess that I at times
Would also wonder such.
Yes, blind I be , but now I see,
His life was worth quite much!

Unpleasant, sure it was for me,
To care for brother Tom.
This duty call to siblings all
Was answered for their mom.

He taught us that behind the shell
Cantankerous and terse
There lived a child, meek and mild,
The subject of this verse.

For when I looked beyond the veil
Of stubborn crankiness,
Somehow I found that all around
Was love and happiness.

How could I be so blind so long?
For years I did not see,
That my brother like no other,
Was really Christ to me!

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