by Julie Bihn


Isaiah was the kindest person one
Could ever hope to know--brother or not.

Why did not our brethren truly love him?
Could he have been too loving and kind?
Did they hate his love of fidelity?
Perhaps they were not fond of him because
He was devoted and attached to me.

Isaiah always told me I was not
To blame for Mother's death--all of us helped.
To give birth to eight sons was difficult.
Isaiah knew I had not chosen to
Be the eighth, the one who finally slew her.
Only he knew I regretted my birth.
Only he was not sorry I was born.
Isaiah told me Mother was joyful
At her death; she knew I would make her proud.
At times he was mistaken ; he believed
In God and Heaven, and thought life was good.
But I believed him now; whilst he could be
Wrong at times, he would never tell a lie.

My brothers did not appreciate him.
I still dislike them for that, even now.

It was Christmas Eve when the headmaster
Finally told me Isaiah was gone.
On December third, four gunmen had robbed
Our estate and killed Luke and Simeon.
Isaiah would have permitted the thieves
To take our whole fortune, had he been there.
But he would never let anyone snatch
The lives of our ignoble relatives.
On the fourth, his body was discovered
In an alley, with three dead thieves near him.
And no one told me until Christmas Eve.

Your smile is missed, Isaiah, dear brother.
I fear the only piece of you I keep
Is your sense of honor. But, please know this:
I owe you more than I could e'er repay
So I shall ever try to work for good.
All this because of what I learned from you.
Farewell, Isaiah. Please, rest peacefully.


Copyright Julie Bihn 1998

Please do not modify or duplicate without my permission.

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