Sarah Ann Woodbury

My Blind Brother, Who Went Insane


“The birds are God,” he said. Laughing. He was Jesus. Somehow, it seems right—a man
who had never seen a bird, describing the incantations that way. Babblings. Like the
bells our mother hung on his door—the ones he’d feel for and shake too hard before

A smile. Unlike the unblind, he smiled only when actually happy.

Until we returned from backpacking in the Winds and heard the voicemail he left me:
“The birds aren’t God.” We found him; he was Einstein; he was on a cruise; he was
sweating; he was almost dead. Brain lost in bells.

fallen juniper berries
too many moons
for the soil


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