The big brother is born first
He is a strapping boy
All smiles and great laughs
And huge years for expansion into
Lives not even his parents could dream
And at the time, being Irish-close in their thoughts and family ties
His parents looked on this massive bundle of promise and huge
Promise of fulfillment as only their first born
Their First Born of many

This beautiful child
This strapping baby boy, carried aloft on the shoulders of all his father's brothers
Heralded as the successor and presented,
On each summer's night, as the Prince of his Father's
River Street house
Tossed from sinewy arms to sinew arms,
Until his Mother's protests were taken in earnest
This Golden Boy - without either his permission
Or his knowledge -
But with all of his vivid memory engaged,
Became the sole focus of every person he loved
And every person he knew loved him . . .

And then his baby brother is born -
And he watches him steal the promise from his fingers
Watches him proclaimed Prince of his Father's River Street House
And sees those strong, comforting, sinewy arms cradle the newcomer
In his stead.
Is it a wonder at all that he grows into the man he has
The man his father was?
Who, himself, had been caroused around until his
Own little brothers were delivered into
His own father's hands?

And what of the guilt of the second born?
It's a heavy load to carry through all those wishful,
Apologetic, battered childhoods,
Looking up to a figure that hates the very
Sight of you.
The Prince is born, the prince is no more,
Long live the memories he must suffer through
All his might-have-been-years.
All his stolen glory years.

Yet, how the new Prince mourns years he too
Should have shared with the True Prince
With the one he sees as the First and Future

They cry separate tears

They live separate guilt

They should have been one spirit in
Two bodies
Rejoicing in the differences and
Embracing the familiar connections
But cannot,
Simply because their world does not allow it

But, the years will bring them back together
The years will wash the reasons for hatred and jealousy from their hearts
And they will finally see that
The Prince lives
And always has lived
And that they are, together,
Presenters of and doters on,
That Prince

As they pass him, son and nephew
One to the other,
Father to Uncle -
Brother to brother
On strong arms and in pride
As the street gathers to herald
The new young
And share in the reunion
Of ascendancy to the throne.

© RG Liberty
September 10, 2000