I thought that when I saw my brother
walking through the gates of the prison,
he would look like a man entering
his life. And he did. He carried
a small bag, holding it away from his body
as if he would not touch it, or
that it weighed almost nothing.
The clothes he wore seemed to belong
to someone else, like hand-me-downs
given a child who will one day
grow into them. Behind him, at the fence,
the inmates were waving, someone saying
all right now. And then,
my brother was walking toward us,
a few awkward steps, at first, until
he got it—how to hold up the too-big pants
with one hand, and in the other
carry everything else he had.
In Verse is supported by Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, an initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. This project is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a broadcast partnership with Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.