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His Gift This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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The room was a shared universe.
I had my bureau,
My side of the closet,
My Legos and my action figures.
He had the top bunk,
The Left Side of the closet.
He had the rule of age.

He was bigger so I listened,
I followed, I obeyed,
Most of the time.

My brother’s imagination
Was bigger than I could imagine.
He saw things, sees things
That I couldn’t, can’t.
Some he shared,
Some he kept to himself.

Those that he shared
Influenced me and changed the
Way I think so that I am just
Discovering their effects now.

He once shared with me
A part of his imagination
That I wish he hadn’t.
“The [big, dark, scary] closet next
To our bed is filled with monsters,
Vampires, Ghosts and Demons.”

My imagination filled in the blanks.
I never slept facing the closet.
Ever,
Again.

One day he turned our bed
Into a fishing boat
Floating over the massive, white-tipped
Waves of an ocean all our own.
Other days it was a raft,
Drifting over a sea of lethal lava,
The carpet.

Today it became a boat.
The magnet tied with a shoestring,
Our rescue line.
The Matchbox cars,
Sprinkled over the carpet,
Our desperate crew, thrown overboard
Struggling to keep their heads above
Water.







Hours we spent tossing the life line
To crew members, who
Were very picky about how
The line was tossed to them.
If it wasn’t just right
They would let go or,
Not even try to reach the line
At all.

After the crew was safe aboard,
We would be off,
To the jungle in the backyard,
The Egyptian caves in our basement,
Or the torture chamber in the attic.

Without him I wouldn’t have had
The boat, the jungle, the caves
At the time I didn’t realize
The greatness of these gifts.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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