Jay Rubin

Apology for an Only Child

A brother is born for adversity
—Proverbs 17:17

My lonely boy, I’ll never know
The kind of pain that you must feel
To sleep all night in your own room
No brother in the other bed
To keep you up, plot your demise
Accusing you of his own crimes
Instead, you’ll sleep the sleep of kings
With no one to disturb your dreams

My poor, poor boy—you’ll never know
A crowded back seat on the road
No sister there to kick your feet
To poke your rib, to knock your knee
No twins, no triplets to compete
Nobody barfing on your sleeve
Instead, you’ll have the whole back seat
Room to stretch, to lounge, to grieve

That’s your lot, I’m sad to say
No mid-life guilt, no old regrets
No failed sibling rivalries
No failed siblings to appease
Instead, your folks will worship you
Each competing for your cheek
We’re sad to say that we are done
For us, you’ll be the only one