My brother has been flitting in and out of my mind lately, like a hummingbird in a spring garden. I often find myself retrieving one of his photos from my picture file and just staring at the image. Since he's the last one left from my immediate family I study his adult photo closely and I can see the ephemeral similarities of both father and mother. His Indian blood comes out mightily in a complexion darker than mine, more like the father but when he smiles I can see the face of my mother about the mouth and eyes.
Sometimes it's the childhood brother who visits me; the little guy of stunted pre-teen growth who, when laying next to me in bed, would extend slumbering fingers and caress my hair. I thought it was so weirdly funny at the time but now find it endearing. I can still see the childhood brother, fleet of foot, running down the field with the football, or down the street, sling-shot in hand, in pursuit of fleeing sparrows. I can still see little hands pummelling a paddle and rubber ball to "break the record" or little fingers curled around a "shooter" in anticipation of the reward of a tightly drawn group of marbles flying outside the ring.
Sometimes the "big" little brother comes skiting across my consciousness, the uniform man in National Guard or Police or Sheriff attire; he of the ready smile and the evident pride of husband and father. He's the one I know least, time and fate leading me to remote corners of the world where familial ties are strained but not broken. I don't know the "big" little brother as well but my love for him is eternal and strong and the enduring images of him are always those of a good brother.
And so, my brother's visits to my mind are not heavy at all but I marvel at how clearly I can see him as he documents on FB his comings and goings and doings. I guess that speaks well for our mother who crafted a tight-knit circle of family between us, so much so that I can clearly see every mannerism he evokes, though not detailed, in FB clarity I can see him eating that Sal's dinner and perhaps thinking of how much I love them. And perhaps I too occupy a small sliver of his mind's eye as he wanders down a Selma street, a park or an old Garfield football field.