I Do Not Cry

my father does not cry
i've seen him do this twice before in my life
once, when his father passed
once, when he moved out for good


i do not cry


my brother does not cry
filled with life and energy
a laugh away
with a hidden illness and its funny way
of saying hello
and five years ago when his body decided to surrender
he could not move
he could not talk
the laughter disappeared and he vanished
but only for the shortest eternity


i do not cry


"i'm not sure he's going to make it"
whispers the other end of the phone
a whisper that is so deafening
it stops time


dad cries for the third time


i do not cry 


i do not cry


"just breathe" she said
as I crumpled to the ground
world swirling
like you've got the drunk spins
that ferociously steal away from consciousness.


i do not breathe


i cry


my father and my brother now
each giving the other a purpose
caregiver and care-taker
fighter and fighter
living under the same roof


they do not cry


the strength he has to keep going
i cannot imagine
it's been five years, and
his voice is the only one i don't remember, but
his voice is the only one i want to hear
so i will wait for that day


i do not cry


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