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Catskills Poetry

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INVENTING THE TRUTH

My brother and I remember things differently,
Like the summers in the Catskills
and the tiny eggs from the poultry farm,
a surprise for us in our Friday night soup.
My brother remembers the headless chicken at the poultry farm
flopping about in a spasmodic fit,
He swears my mother wrung their skinny necks
before the bloody slaughter.
I remember the starry, cicada nights just before sleep,
The comforting sounds of familiar voices
drifting up from the country porch.
He still feels the sting of my father's slap
"A test," he said, to see if we were faking sleep,
And I remember the night my brother's fever soared,
the doctor's second visit,
joking that he left the needle in,
My brother cringes from the pain
of two injections piercing skin.

~Norma Ketzis Bernstock