a warning

i hold my pain
cupped in my hands
a wounded bird
my pain is a precious thing
i hold it close
protected.

i was reading “pleasantville” by attica locke which takes place at election time in 1996. the epilogue is then at election time in 2000. reading that brought back a sharp pain with the memory of that election–not so much how it took weeks to claim a winner–but how during those weeks, my democratic sister got married and at the rehearsal dinner, my republican brother went around asking everyone who they voted for.
when he asked me, i told him, “ralph nader” he said, “i have no response for that” (or something to that effect which made me laugh.)
2000 was the first major “stolen” election in the u.s. that i know of. my brother worked for the republicans, worked for the bushes, as an IT guy. it wouldn’t be until 2008, the day he was killed, that i would learn just how involved he was.
november is his birth month.
december is his death month.
all this came up in my chest, in my heart, just reading a work of fiction referencing that 2000 election.
and i marveled at my response to the pain.
i gathered it up, holding it close, making sure i could still feel it. i don’t want to lose that pain. that pain has meaning. it has significance. it is all i have left of my brother.

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