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For My Brother

by Boris Kokotov

You disappeared
years before I was born.
I was almost twenty
when I learned about you.
Dad told me.

But until that day
your name was never uttered.
Not a single thing left after you:
no clothes, no toys, no pictures
in the family album.

You were sacked
before your first birthday,
lost to disease
like many others
during the war.

Your life was cut short.
Where is your grave?
Somewhere. Far away.
Where is your soul?
I don’t know.

Our parents are long dead.
Our uncles and aunties
died as well.
No one is around
who would remember you.

So all I have
is your name:
and emptiness in my heart
where love should have been.

Copyright © 2020 by Boris Kokotov

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