He can talk his way through life

My brother smoked, drank coffee –
pushed a cup into my hand
when I returned from school
without apology,
though the scabs tracking his back
matched the grip of a pool cue.

I hear the other side
of a mother’s wartime anecdotes –
christened with glass
as she sat in a metal bath.

Wood, air and glass,
a migration of envelopes
around the aisles
mop every drop

as we are delivered an elegy.

In the Wimpy, after chucking out,
sat in the window I watched
as someone punched his head again and again.