Was my brother ornery or was he merely dumb?
Once he told me rubber bands were a new sort of gum
that didn’t blow good bubbles, but at least you could rechew it,
saving you the money of having to renew it.
Given any option, he was bound to choose the crazy one,
and if the choice involved some work, sure to choose the lazy one.
He always had ideas about how to do work faster,
and without exception, they resulted in disaster.
Like the time he used Dad’s blowtorch to trim all of our trees,
not taking into full account the briskness of the breeze
and set the house on fire, slightly singing the outside,
and when the firetrucks arrived, he asked them for a ride!
Once when men came to fix the roof, I heard the kitty mewing
and knew at once there was a chance that more mischief was brewing.
Whatever put it in his head to waterproof the cat
by dipping it from tail to neck in the tarring vat?
He’d do things like putting red ants inside my skirt,
and when my folks weren’t watching, he’d spit on my dessert,
then eat the rest himself when I asked to leave the table.
He found ways to torment me whenever he was able.
Entertainment such as this was what amused my brother,
giving ulcers to my dad and white hairs to my mother.
But growing up with brother turned out fortunate for me,
for he gave a clear pattern of what I shouldn’t be.
And now that I have kids myself to tend and love and cook for,
I have a sure advantage, for I know just what to look for.
I see things with my brother’s eye and remove such temptations
that might lead to misdirections in their moral educations.
And as for my brother’s childhood deportment flaws,
just desserts were finally served. I know this because
fate dished out the punishment for his childhood errors
by giving him two sons that I hear are holy terrors!