My brother was not a strong man.
He was always the last to be picked for a team
but he was strong in another way:
if he believed in something he’d do it,
nothing would stop him.

He left for basic training the day after his eighteenth birthday:
he was not going to be a supply clerk—
there was a war on, so he was going to be a soldier.

The last time I saw him was the night before
he shipped out. We met for lunch and he ate well:
“I won’t be coming home from this, you know.
Can you handle that, Jo? Can you help our mother?”
I said it was the least I could do.
He was dead in three weeks, bombed by his own planes.

Late September snow, beautiful
snow that didn’t stay long.

Brian Daldorph teaches at the University of Kansas and Douglas County Jail. He edits Coal City Review.