Word to My Brother

by nicolecallihan

Last week, it was brought to my attention that my Irish twin of a brother (today 36!!!!!!) doesn’t like the word “word,” as in “Word?” as in “Dig?” perhaps even as in “Word!” and all I can think is: how can this being with whom I share at least an eighth of a brain and a quarter of a soul, how can he turn away from words? I mean, my brother, don’t you know what words are? They’re bananas and Cheerwine and these huge sunflowers that Eva and I saw late this afternoon when we were walking through an alley and the whole sky turned pink. Words, my brother, are cats on roofs and drives in the mountains, are puptents and cigarettes and staying up all night telling jokes, are Mama Heaton’s front porch and Pappy’s ukulele, are swimming pools and movie stars and meeting in the panhandle to give you a car; words are, are…; oh, they’re sweet and sticky and sometimes icky; oh, those silly words: when all else fails, they rhyme with birds (!); oh, words, forever words, three words, a million words; they’re verbs and nouns and mom and sky; they’re me and you and airplane blue; they’re more (always more); they’re happy, happy (ever so happy!) birthday to you.