I, The Unfavored Son

The older of two brothers, I was always the one
That seemed to get blamed for whatever mischief was done.
My younger brother being our father's favorite quite clearly,
Produced within me such jealousy and hurt my soul dearly.

Over time our sibling rivalry turned into genuine animosity;
Each insult exchanged helped create a state of hateful reciprocity.
My father never listened to me, always taking my brother's side,
Until soon my anger and disgust, I simply could no longer hide.

I couldn't make my father see I was just as good as my brother,
That each brother needed his love and approval as much as the other.
Each passing year, my frustration and resentment grew and grew,
Until one day, I decided that with this family I was through.

At seventeen, I ran away and joined the U.S. Navy.
Serving my country honorably made me a better man maybe;
Whatever the cause, I gained confidence and maturity,
Until I knew a productive, successful life for me was a surety.

Years passed without any contact with my family.
I started a business, later marrying a wife who considered it a calamity
That I had not seen my brother or father in so many years.
I steadfastly refused, but eventually my resolve dissolved in her tears.

Disapproving, fault-finding remarks passed between a father and son
Can shatter their relationship, where what's said can never be undone.
Still, making the gesture to appease the wife, I arranged a meeting.
Pleasant surprise arose upon receiving a warm, cordial greeting.

Things went well for more than a year, forging a true reconciliation.
I came to regret all those years with no family participation.
Letting my guard down, I reveled in learning how a family could be,
But, I guess some things are just not meant to be, as fate soon showed me.

Driving with my brother, I swerved to miss a child running into the road.
The wheels fell into a hole, causing the SUV to roll and seemingly explode.
My brother, my new friend, was thrown out; fate chose him to kill.
I stayed buckled in and survived, only through God's will.

At the graveside, my father was hysterical, half out of his mind.
Surely otherwise he could never have said anything so unkind.
As for me, I shall be fine; time will heal my scars torn open anew,
Hearing my father say "I never again want to lay eyes on you!"

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.18.01