For my younger brother



My younger brother has been a special gift to me, in more ways than I can explain right now, for most of my adulthood. We don’t spend enough time together anymore, but before we each had families of our own, we went to action movies, concerts, car and motorcycle races, bars, mountains, etc.

Although he and I can easily laugh together about current events or memories from childhood, he’s also one of the few people on the planet who can ask me difficult, but truly meaningful, questions without offending me.  

We grew up in a very conservative Baptist family. He became Catholic not long before I became Jewish, and we enjoy watching one another’s spiritual Journeys.

Siblings can be a special gift from Gd.

That’s how I see my younger brother.

And this poem, The Sacraments by St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1182-1226), goes out to him, with love:

The Sacraments

I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments– he got so excited

and ran into a hallow in his tree and came back holding some acorns, an owl feather, and a ribbon he had found.

And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear, you understand:

everything imparts His grace.”

published at p. 53 in Daniel Ladinsky’s 2002 book: LOVE POEMS FROM GOD: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (Penguin Compass).