Portrait of my dead brother Salvadore Dahli 1963
I’m sorry, Pete, that I rarely visit where your remains
Were laid that terrible day in December 1996. You are often
In my heart. Forty-one is no age to part from all you love
But I know how brave you were. When your kidneys finally
Packed up you were twenty-one and in love. I only found
Out after you’d died, that you’d written to the girl and set
Her free by telling her you no longer loved her. Such a brave, loving lie.
Tears from my eyes when I think of your sacrifice, I can hardly breath.
Sometimes I think of what I’d give you if I could meet you again:
I’d fix up a final ton up, a tear about on a Harley-Davidson.
I’d arrange a year without being tied to the kidney machine
I’d wish you a brother wiser and kinder and less selfish than I
We’d walk through the peak district on a sunny day in May.
I’d buy you a pint at one of the pubs you drank at before your life
Caved in and illness buried you away. Most of all, I’d give you
A luckier start in life: free from undiagnosed, congenital kidney disease.
I’d sing you your favourite Elvis song. Grant you a much longer time to live.
Send you a kiss from our mum, a hand shake from dad: both with you now.
I’d watch you hold your grandniece, Charlotte, born on April
Fool’s Day, 2019. But I can do nothing for you, Pete, except
Swear to you that when we meet again, I will make amends.