My brother Peter
He was my little brother Peter and
He died at seventeen; a handsome boy,
His father’s eyes of blue, and pretty face.
The early years I best remember; that’s
When we were mates. On family holidays
In Sydney, Portsea, Kalorama, did
The things that small boys do; we played with snakes
And lizards – Peter loved them. I was four
Years older, so in time we grew apart.
I starred at school, so he made trouble, then
At nine developed diabetes, had
In mind an early death; so packed much life
Into a few short years. Some friends were crims,
Stole cars, knew girls before his older brother.
He fought his dad, lived rough, and he was right
Because at just fifteen he got a rare
Disease and died within two years. I still
Remember awful scenes of Pete’s last breaths
Once oxygen was ceased. Our parents bore
The brunt of this and never quite recovered.
His was a short, full life; I hope he had
Much joy despite the strife and pain and fear.