The rain's continuous throbbing pours roaring as a cataract. Inchling Spring is edging towards its green strength again and my thoughts turn to roots--To you, brother, I turn my slow thoughts, plough- like--to the soil where my brothers and I were sown to growth beneath a beating sun. Long before angry time had made us men and carved hard marks in cheek and character, we'd discovered an old abandoned well that held hidden light below a wounded wooden lid wreathed in leaves gone black with mold and oldness. How strange the intense interest each ragged crack contained, lightning-shaped shadows just open enough to let dropped rocks knock echoes up to our ears! How strong the burning noon allowed slim glimmers of the sharded sky to reflect into our nook-invading eyes. Wild as fox kits, we'd swat afternoons away with races through the castle-high trees of Dad's estate, crying 'cuckoo, cuckoo' back at birds we'd startled from their naps-- coming round again at eve's cooing onset to the well that had not left our thoughts alone for an instant. Down the deep well we boldly brayed our loud-sounding secrets, our canvas dungarees kneed a filthy khaki with the daylong play of dirt. What each said was wrung lowing into a deeper register than either knew or recognized--it was as if our future voices resounded brownly back in the brawny familiarity of manhood from the receiving deep of that black well. How cool we thought it all was back then, our piping voices booming back like bulls. Sworn secrets and youngsters' oaths we hallooed a hundred times into the dark before the dinner bell of an inverted bowl and wooden spoon orange with squash stuff rang us back to Mom's steaming table. What oaths, and what secrets we dropped into the welling earth, let our lives and thrivings show, fruit of buried truths. Outside, the storm is still coming on, a bleak conveyer belt of darkness on the news stretching back half a dozen states. My regrets, too, go far into our past, shadowing the many memories of life that trained our vines to twine as close as twins-- two brothers blessed, and best of brothers too for a time when time was young. What has made us break with what we were, untwine what sun and childhood had braided? Is not this night, spent undreaming and alone, contiguous with the ten thousand darks that have marched in line before tonight? The sound outside is like a wall, a thick wet against the walls of my condo-abode. Yet there is a silence in the flailing rain, as if too much sound must cancel sound, and repetition wash drummed distinctions to silence in the night. So, too--too full of memories I write, and all that's past transforms from stories lived and told, to one reminding tone of feeling sounding over all. I listen down the well of years, and hear how time has brought us onward and light- ward, through a void we did not understand-- bands of doppler effect expanding blandly into the numb enamelling of now. Outside, a ripple of hitting wind unveils how the universal rain, invisible, still keeps ringing down in loud-dim chains, links of the unknown mating then and now. These days we nod or share a cordial laugh at politics, renew some well-chewed gristle of family gossip--secrets no one but us still keeps or cares to hear about. Despite the change of costume that flesh and accident have rendered to body and embodiment, I see us crowded round that boyhood well even now. I see us crowded round that boyhood well even now. You at a steep fantastic angle as you lean aged but dapper on the silver orthopedic cane a reckless SUV leapt a Jersey barrier like a salmon to deliver to the shady eddy of a hospital bed, your body pooled crooked as a questionmark. Me, thick-waisted with grim reading at my remote IT management screen, thickening eyeglasses aiding my old-man myopia; me, thick-tongued despite my serial confessions of pen and of poetry nimbly repeating: "me!" Soundless I hold you, folded round by arms as I take my Easter leave of thee and Holly-- a half-dozen empty, river-green Heinekens gracing the lace placemats. We two old brothers wait a beat, twined deep in the years steeped between us, our now silent vows echoing well in hidden hearts.