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BROTHER ALVIN, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: In the seat that we shared in the second grade
Alternate Author Name(s): Adisa-warrior, Gamba
Subject(s): Education; Schools; Students

In the seat that we shared in the second grade
there was always a space between us
left for our guardian angels.
We had made it out of the brownies together
because you knew your numbers
and could find the right pages
while I could read all the words.
You were absent a lot between Halloween
and Thanksgiving
and just before Christmas vacation
you disappeared
along with the tinsel
and paper turkeys
and never returned.

My guardian angel and I had the seat to ourselves
for a little while only
until I was demoted back to the brownies
because I could never find the correct page.

You were not my first death
but your going was not solaced by the usual
rituals of separation
the dark lugubrious murmurs
and invitations by threat
to the dignified grownups' view
of a child's inelegant pain
so even now
all these years of death later
I search through the index
of each new book
on magic
hoping to find some new spelling
of your name.

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