my brother is off to school,
backpack over a shoulder
eyes glued to the phone in hand
white buds dangling from his ears.

he doesn’t turn when I wave,
his head bobs
and the only sound on the street
are his big floppy feet
slapping the pavement.

as he approaches corner
to cross the road alone,
my heart beats hard and fast.
i lean forward
to catch
grey hair poking from under a cap
jaw set, determined
all his fifty-five years.

it occurs to me
at 8:14 am,
he is two years younger,
twenty score stronger,
ten times braver,
than I will ever be.

The need to upskill and reskill to thrive is constant but going back to school can be a big step. Switching Gears honours those in the process of retraining and reschooling, as they follow new paths and dreams. Inspired by my brother, this simple poem reflects the moment.

Published December 2022, by Roi Faineant Press.

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