A Nephew’s Hug - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

A Nephew’s Hug

It was the right time

 

For the longest hug.

 

Had my nephew

fathomed the death

of his own younger brother?

 

Did he know

his powerful, but soothing

words, the prior night’s

eulogy,

quoting my own father’s

favorite poem

needed to be

followed by

Action?

 

Clutching confirmation:

 

“No man is an island

entire of itself?”

 

As the Sun set over

McDowell Sonoran

Preserve,

my brother Dave’s

horse was led

across the rescue ranch,

past the gathered mourners,

his boots

in the stirrups.

 

Dave and I

hadn’t spoken often.

 

But that fact,

against his

sudden passing,

guiding

horseback

hunters

through Southern Colorado,

now seemed of no consequence.

 

His horse’s hooves,

his saddle’s riggings

barely broke the silence

in a steadily cooling twilight.

 

But they tolled

like Donne’s bells.

 

Only the powerful

hug offered solace.

 

The Brother,

The Son

beneath soaring,

watchful palms,

 

Diminished.

 

 

Photo Caption: David Shindel (July 22,1954 – October 19, 2019)





About the author

Len Shindel

Len Shindel began working at Bethlehem Steel’s Sparrows Point Plant in 1973, where he was a union activist and elected representative in local unions of the United Steelworkers, frequently publishing newsletters about issues confronting his co-workers. His nonfiction and poetry have been published in the “Other Voices” section of the Baltimore Evening Sun, The Pearl, The Mill Hunk Herald, Pig Iron, Labor Notes and other publications. After leaving Sparrows Point in 2002, Shindel, a father of three and grandfather of seven, began working as a communication specialist for an international union based in Washington, D.C. The International Labor Communications Association frequently rewarded his writing. He retired in 2016. Today he and his wife, Maxine, live in Garrett County where he enjoys writing, cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking, fly-fishing and fighting for a more peaceful, sustainable and safe world for his grandchildren and their generation Contact the author.
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