And that’s just you

IMG_0637Do you think that I could ever forget the sound of your voice?
Or not remember the look of your eyes?
Do you think that I cannot stop, and in stopping, pause
and in pausing bring me back to when and where I want?

Nor do I exhume those memories, I am them;
I see the once, I feel the when, I taste the where and I breathe,
(deep and long) and I am me (the me then) while you, you’re my
always you—then, now and forever; and beyond that forever
whenever that forever ends. That’s what constancy


The first three weeks of March is the period of the Bahá’í fast, when Bahá’ís abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Although the fast is a wonderful time of spiritual renewal, unfortunately, for health reasons, my sister, Lucinda, cannot participate in the physical side of the process, so it is my honor each year to fast for the both of us. This poem comes out of a conversation we had one night during the fast.

This poem is in thanks for the privilege of having been her brother all my life.

The photograph was taken at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.


Photograph, poem and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge, The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its copyright holder.



Filed under Poetry

14 responses to “And that’s just you

  1. Barbara Minor

    Reading these words reminds me that my little brother called today. We had a chat that caused laughing and fooling around. Our sibling connection is strong and loving; his conversation lightens my day. He is still funny and I relate to that “forever” place. Thanks John.

    • You are so welcome Barbara! My sister has been there all my life and such a rock of love and support…I owe her so very, very much! It’s wonderful to have such family.

  2. Pete Hulme

    Both the photo and the poem, John, are exquisite.

    • Thank you Pete! In fact you and your complex and honest poetry with your sister, Mary, was much on my mind when this poem started. So, in part, thank you for that too! 🙂

  3. What a treasure is a siblings love. My little sister is getting my unconditional support and it warms my heart. Beautiful poem.

    • Thank you so much, dear! And if you don’t mind me saying, the intensity, brevity and honesty of your own work is a constant source of inspiration. 🙂

  4. I’m an only child, John, and relate to your eloquent poem with increased insight and understanding of the sibling bond…of it’s unique…constancy.

    • Isn’t that interesting? I have always wondered what it would have been like to have been part of a larger family and I have never thought of what it would have been like to be an only child. Honestly, I cannot imagine what life would have been like without the love and support of my sister. The only thing for certain is that I would have made many, many, MANY more mistakes than I did! 🙂 With the ones I did manage being far too many!

  5. Loved this poem, John. It talks from the soul. Beautiful.

    • Thank you so very much! I am a lucky man to have such a wonderful sister…it has been an incredible journey thus far and I love her very. very much.

  6. Simply beautiful… your photography and your writing are a wonderful gift to the world… thank you for sharing your creative gifts with us.

    • Thank you so very much! That is incredibly kind and I sincerely take it to heart. I, also, love your images and am jealous that you tried the ring/heart project, one I have never had the courage to try. Oh…and did it so very well, too! 🙂

  7. This piece carries me, and I can’t grasp how beautiful these words are, nor can I understand how this poem carries me … and I know that I don’t have to understand it. Wonderful. The story behind this poem is sacred and resonates with the love of a brother. Peace.