A Nephew’s Hug

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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


quoting my own father’s

favorite poem

needed to be

followed by



Clutching confirmation:


“No man is an island

entire of itself?”


As the Sun set over

McDowell Sonoran


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,




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,





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