“A Brother's Love’s”

For Ricardo, Jr.

poster designed by Elliott Gilardi

Today my little brother left for the service,

one tear dropped

I was not there like I used to be

to make sure he had everything he needed

a second tear dropped.

I heard his voice over the phone telling me

“Sis, I know you love me”

and a third tear dropped


There I was

holding on to every word he said . . . thinking . . .

when I see him again, he will be a MAN

my little brother





all grown up,

no more playing sports and ditching chores

you’re gone,

gone to the army.


All I have is a river of tears to follow those words

a river,

one that flows down the middle of our love,

I understand what can happen to a man

when the military and the monetary . . .

get together


“in your case”

our economic status deemed it necessary,

you are no longer

a man child in the promised land.


“If this is what you want”


Soar to the top of your class,

travel foreign lands . . .

but return home

with remnants,

of the man I once knew

as my baby brother.

©️Sierra Leone