Don’t stand here next to me

the drop will be here in a few minutes.

The price being paid is unexpected,

a man approaches and offers to do it,

I refuse any and all help.

I’m standing anxiously at the exact spot,

the drop’s instructions were explicit.

Across my left shoulder is a strip bar

three heavily drunk men stagger,

the duffle bag is walking towards me,

the two intersect, and there’s a scuffle.

The drunk men run while carrying the bag.

Everything has gone horribly wrong,

they don’t seem to notice, I’m following.

Down a well lit alley they huddle

a lock is forbidding their entrance.

I turn and notice, my brother, frantic.

We meet eye to eye and I tell him to stop!

The street value was too steep to ignore

‘my brothers keeper’, those are the words.

My mouth fell open and I woke

from a nightmare that took some

convincing that it wasn’t really happening.

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken.

Left with the overwhelming feeling

my brother is mixed up in something.

I’m no longer his keeper, like I was

when we were younger.

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway,

he would have refused the help.

Desperately prideful, there are insecurities

come to find he’s homeless in his car.

The drop was perhaps his drug habit

that has stripped him of everything.

Living, surviving on the mean streets

his one and last possession was his mind,

unfortunately, it has been compromised.

Tragically too sad because this is now

two of my siblings that have been

taken down by the drug trade.