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To My Little Brother
He's only twelve,
So small in the sweatshirt I got him for Christmas,
Boldly stating, 'Pterodactyls are Pterrifying.'
He looks so young, so unknowing, his face unwise,
But in the middle of the night, his fears come out,
Fears of never being able to turn back time,
Never being able to keep death from lurking behind the corner,
Never being able to know what comes next.
Still, at twelve, he sleeps with his stuffed animals,
And makes me paper dolphins if I'm feeling down.
Doesn't wash his hair or clothes
Until my mother forces him to.
He grips on to childhood with an iron fist,
The clench of someone who knows that one day he'll have to let go.
There is no tree house in our yard,
No skinned knees or matches of Kerplunk!
But my brother still makes birthday wishes,
His iron fist is welded in,
And while in some ways, he'll grow up,
He'll always be a kid within.