i have no brothers myself and can’t fill the role,
yet the words of one over radio waves*
pull at something deep in sister soul.

“it’s not something we decide with just our heads,”
said the brother of the bomber,
with combustible compassion.

when there’s loyalty, justice, and blood in the mix,
brotherhood at large beats kin to the finish,
and we, all brother-kind, are victorious.

for a brother’s your other,
a mirror to show
what you are, and you aren’t, and you can be.
if he’s missing, scuffed, or fractured,
you are left to fight alone -
for perspective,
peace with man,
and with your god.

a brother’s test: to give up ghosts
of self and childhood heroes.
in exchange: the hope of a future redeemed,
and a mother’s understanding kiss on his cheek.


*a departure from the norm for me, but i heard the story of the Kaczynski brothers on early-morning radio this weekend and couldn’t shake it from my head. David speaks with great heart and compassion about his decision to turn his older brother Ted – the Unabomber – over to police. even richer are his words on the road he’s walked since, with his family and the victims of his brother’s crimes.

i can’t find a free version, but it’s worth looking into via the links above if you’re interested in brotherhood – both in the family unit and as human beings, one to another.

it should also be noted that this picture is not of the Kaczynski brothers, but of blurry brother-friends with no interest in bombs.


  1. I didn’t remember that his brother turned him in. Fascinating. And beautiful words, Abs.

  2. Lovely words. And thoughts. The relationship between brothers is something I ponder a lot, especially with my twins. It’s a mystery…

  3. I’ve been struck by their relationship, too. I was in the news business when he was caught. I remember watching interview after interview with his brother once it became public knowledge that he was the one who turned him in. He had such great compassion even back then, and so much obvious love and anguish for his sibling.

    Beautiful words.

    • i didn’t know ANYTHING about this except that the unabomber wore a hoodie (bad public schools? too young?). i listened to him talk and just teared up. so much big, complicated love there.

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