“An Ode to My Brother” by Christian Pearson

This week, the Beat will be posting work from writers in the Writers in Baltimore Schools (WBS) program. This work was created at WBS’ Young Writers’ Summer Studio, a six-day writing camp held each year in August. This year, the Beat’s Lisa Snowden-McCray and Brandon Soderberg worked with the students for two of those six days. Some of the work here and much more will be published in WBS’ Writers’ Studio anthology out soon. We began with a piece from WBS founder Patrice Hutton and so far we brought you a poem by WBS writer Abigail Mokuba and a poem by Jahi Heath. Today, we have a poem by Christian Pearson.

I remember teaching him how to play Call of Duty.

I remember him pressing the wrong buttons,

Using the wrong control sticks,

And getting killed over, and over, and over again.

I remember him teaching me how to play Fortnite

And getting frustrated at how bad I was.

I remember going to the court with him,

Teaching him crossovers and how to dribble between the legs.

I remember him getting me to play him one-on-one

And backing off of him so I didn’t get crossed.

I remember teaching him how to throw a football,

Teaching him the diamond shape with his hands for him to catch.

I remember playing 3-Fly with him

And he burned me several times.

I remember teaching him how to box

Like my dad taught me.

I remember hearing he defended himself

Against two boys AT ONCE.

I remember hearing they never bothered him again.

I remember when he’d close his eyes and say “Ewww”

Every time my parents kissed.

I remember finding he had a type.

You still crushing on Becky G, aren’t you?

I remember him reading all my poems,

Asking “what does that word mean” and “how did you come up with this?”

I remember “Super Ninja Spy,”

His own little comic, illustrations and all.

I remember a tiny baby boy with hair twice the size of his head.

I remember seeing you leave the barber’s chair with bald fades to this day.

I remember praying for him 

I needed another boy in the house. 

And I don’t have to remember

How thankful I am to be blessed with a little brother.

Keep growing.