To my half-brother in Arizona by Jamey Boelhower 

You’ve sat in my living roomI’ve had dinner at your favorite restaurant

A card here

A text there

We are almost family


    But like two streams

    Cutting across the land


We never truly merage

    into one channel

At times we are close enough

    that a hiker can hear the

    babbling of our streams

The hiker crosses yours at the base

    of a mesa

    boots dusty red

They travel west

    to find mine in the field

    grass burrs tangled in socks

Without a map they wonder

    if we are the same stream


We are not


But if they would follow our banks back north

The hiker would see that we originated from the same lake

only miles apart


Now we meander across time

    ebbing and flowing

    close then away

Not yet family

    because we both know

    that family is more than water

It is pain


    and a sense of togetherness

    that can only manifest

    when all of life is shared


And that is the scary part


To become family

we would have to merge

open up the floodgates

to encompass all of our joys and sorrows


Two streams

    becoming a river

The rush of history

    creating Class IV whitewater rapids

What damage would that river cause?

How many homes flooded?

    Bridges destroyed?

People caught unaware by the rapid rage of our stories


And so we keep land between us

Both of us secure in between

    our own banks

    choosing our landscapes

Impressing hikers with our scenery

Even if we are only miles apart