On a damp day you left for Dublin
while I tended our family’s farm.
“You can come visit,” you said and promised
countless phone calls for your younger brother,
whose cupped lips cried, “Kate, you’ll get famous!”
as your bus rolled from our boarded-up town.
Scrubbed blood lined the limestone of your new town
as you wove through this world of dear Dublin
where machine guns forged faces infamous.
From a phone booth you dialed the farm
and choked up at the sound of your brother.
“No, I won’t tell Ma or Da,” I promised.
For a time you told truth to your brother
until fresh friends swept you into their town.
You sang at a pub. “For now,” you promised
while your soul re-pinned to fit in Dublin.
Though my sweat salted our family farm
I wished that I could help you get famous.
You saw U2 before they were famous
and sang on more stages as you had promised
(but not the sort you’d dreamed on the farm
so moneyed gramps offered nights on the town
ended with draughts found only in Dublin)
You couldn’t hide all when calling your brother.
And I, your not-so-young younger brother,
whose county fair winnings made me “famous,”
asked Da if I could join you in Dublin.
I would be back in a week. I promised
to fulfil my role as heir of the farm.
You looked older than you had on the farm
when you opened the door for your brother.
You looked gaunt as those broken windows through town
but your addiction made you feel famous.
We fought. I left that week as I promised.
In your empty-eyed town you got famous.
While tending Da’s farm, your forgotten brother
mourned worlds promised in phone calls from Dublin.
O. Webb graduated from New York University, where she discovered a passion for poetry her senior year. Her work has previously appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Gallatin Journal of Global Affairs, and West 4th Street Review. She is currently living in Dallas with two adorable-albeit-overweight cats.