My Brother and I and the World

by Mary Atkinson


My brother and I

ankle deep

in the cool water

of a brook

that tickled our legs

and spilled our buckets

as it ran into the sea


to divide

the world

in half.


He got

the sandy bank

wavy ferns, wild blueberry bushes

pine trees, forests

and mountains all the way up to the sky


And I got

sea grass and rose hips

climbing rocks and tidal pools

splashing waves

and all of the ocean


All of the ocean, I told him

All the way around the world


Around the world, he asked

To my mountains and forests

To my blueberry bushes and sandy bank

Around the world to our brook

that turns into the sea?


My brother and I

sitting in the brook

on a hot summer’s day

catching twigs and minnows

in our buckets

and letting wet sand

slide through our fingers and toes

We decided

not to divide

the world

in half

but keep it as it was.