by Sarah Anne Harrington

My little brother.

What, exactly, are you to me?

I've known you for eleven years,

Since the day you were born,

And, yet, I feel as if I barely know you at all.

Was it only yesterday,

That you still carried Bear Bear around,

And sang, "I love my teddy bear!"

In your school play,

Three of a Kind?

Are the pictures I have,

You kissing Hannah,

Playing the piano with me in Reno,

All just fragments of a lost memory?

Whatever happened to my baby brother?

I know parents are always saying,

"They grow up so fast!

First they're a toddler,

And then they're out the door and on their own!"

Even as the sister, I want to say that, too.

God, can I just freeze time?

Keep my life the way it was,

Before the divorce,

Before I have to watch Joshy and Hannah, and Andrew B. grow up,

Before I lost that chance with Olivia?

But slowly, I'm learning,

That growing up is a good thing. (Thank you, Jon!)

That maybe, someday, in the future,

I could be writing this poem,

Not for all my brothers and sisters, but for kids of my own.

Though your name is the title, Joshy,

This poem is not only for you.

This poem is for all five of you;

Our sister, Hannah,

Our half-sister, Olivia,

Our almost-step-brothers, Andrew B. and Jon.

And, of course, for you, little Joshy.

I love you all.

A/N: The people mentioned in this poem are as follows– Jon, my 15-year-old almost-step-brother; Andrew B., my 11-year-old almost-step-brother; Joshy, my 11-year-old brother; Hannah, my 9 1/2-year-old sister; and Olivia, my 2-year-old half-sister.