by Caroline Cook

There’s the hard kind and the crumbling kind
and my brother fell on the hard kind and it broke him
and he lay on the driveway far too long
in front of his own front door and he was alone
because his wife had left him – and his children
had left him and he had lived alone in that house
(which was more a still life than a home)
where his children had grown and gone mad
– the boy to voices the girl to melancholy –
and so it was that he died out there in the sun
where I saw him last where he’d waved me off
in June –   the joker   as vivid a card as ever
there where the postman stumbled on him. 
There are things you learn about love but
it takes its time. There’s the hard kind and
the crumbling kind (others too) and what I learned
was that a love had grown inside me like a fruit-stone
it was lodged inside its own-shaped hole a gravelet
it had made itself but being deep I hadn’t known.
Outside I had been blind. That pitted stone
had put out green in darkness. 
Now I carry with me always fruit-stone’s hollow
swept safe-kept and flown – which knows    
    where nothing is and waits.