I’ve never known brotherly love.
I didn’t grow up fighting with siblings
or learning to ride a bike down my
street with a mocking grin and a
steady hand at my side. I grew up
with the knowledge that there was a
gaping hole where a boy should have been.
Where my big brother would have been. 

But you,
the boys who are like big brothers to me
– even the younger ones –
are always working to fill the gap. 


The boy who said I could call him at 3am
if I needed to. The same boy who dreamt
I died and called me to make sure it
wasn’t true. 


The boy who can always tell if I’m not okay
and always checks on me. The boy who
supports my writing and encourages me. 


The boy who goes out to eat with me and
listens. The boy who I always laugh with. 


The boy who was my inseparable friend
all the way through school – Sonic,
Animorphs, Power Rangers, marbles.
The fiercest loyalty on the playground. 

The boys who laugh with me even when
my jokes are terrible. The boys who make
me feel like I belong somewhere, like I’m
important. The boys who look after me
and let me support them, too.
The boys who will always matter.
Thank you.