The ashe from the fire place mingled
with the sweet potato soup wafting
from the stove top and settling through the kitchen.
Stirring the iron pot with his left hand and thumbing
through a yellowed novel with his right.
Jordan read in a voice steady as silver
to my sister and I while they cooked.
The entire book, all three hundred and thirty six pages
he read to us on that sleeting evening
with wind bending to meet our warm windows.
And I grew to know him not from formal introduction
but by the way words dripped from his lips like the fleeting light.
I saw his patience and love for my sister, to read to her like that
and hot cider spread its warmth like wings in my belly
the way he so quickly became my brother.