Homage

in memory of my brother, Richard

We piled into your burgundy ’48 Chrysler
each October, our fall pilgrimage
to the Finger Lakes for grape pies. Oh,
the Concord smell—the crust still warm.

Near dusk, we’d head home
as streaks of orchid purpled the sky.
Lilacs waited for us in front yards.

No one brought flowers to your funeral.
Picnic baskets lined the altar, the wild
aroma of grape pies rising.

Shirley J. Brewer graduated from careers in bartending, palm-reading and speech therapy. She serves as poet-in-residence at Carver Center for Arts & Technology in Baltimore, MD. Recent poems garnish Barrow Street, Chiron Review, Comstock Review, Naugatuck River Review, Poetry East, Slant, and other journals. Shirley’s poetry books include A Little Breast Music, 2008, Passager Books, After Words, 2013, Apprentice House, and Bistro in Another Realm, 2017, Main Street Rag. www.apoeticlicense.com