portion of the artwork for Lois Beebe Hayna's poem

The Presence of Absence
Lois Beebe Hayna

My brother walked in his sleep sometimes
when we were growing up,
troubling our parents and bewildering him.
I was curious. I asked and asked
how the world felt in the dark,
what he saw and, most urgently, how
could I learn to? He brushed
me away, not wanting to talk about it
and then
one night I’d gone to the bathroom
and he came silently up
the stairs in his thin pajamas,
bits of grass stuck to his
damp bare feet, and his wide-open
eyes didn’t know me, and I think
I never again quite trusted my brother,
having seen him that
one time with some
stranger using his body.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 30 | Fall 2010