Taken from Writer’s Almanac
Brothers at the Reunion
by Athena Kildegaard
The old men stood below the exit sign
laughing and cussing as though they were
in a well-lit bar—though they’d all
given up drink years before. They cussed
for the electricity of the words. Some, widowers
who hadn’t kissed a woman in years, stroked
the air with their hands. They didn’t touch
one another. The one holdout blew smoke
away from their privacy. They did not talk
of faith—these men whose father had been
a deacon—they disagreed. Instead they told
the old stories about creek beds and whippings
and snakes in mailboxes. And jokes featuring
viagra and gravity. Their laughter bound them,
that and a loss of faith in their bodies,
though desire hammered there still.
“Brothers at the Reunion” by Athena Kildegaard from Bodies of Light.
Red Dragonfly Press, 2011.