August 1988

“Strength,” New Era, Aug. 1988, 25


The 14-year-old boy stood up there all alone

at his brother’s farewell.

He smiled at us,

but then we saw his smile

had tears behind it.

He took a step back,

perhaps to regain his composure,

and he wasn’t smiling.

His face went red

and one teardrop—was it

dew distilled from the heart?—

one tear ran down his cheek.

He stood for a moment mute—

dad came up behind him,

hugged him,

whispered some quiet words

in his ear,

stood by him.

As his shoulders began to shake,

I was crying too.

When he finally was calm, somehow he shone,

and he said, “I just want my brother to know

that I really love him a lot …”

He turned to sit, and his father

followed. The 14-year-old boy

who cried at his brother’s farewell.