For My Brother, Andrew Joseph Fleming, November 21, 1986 to November 5, 2012

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

My brother’s love Megan, my brother, my sister and me, right before his most recent surgery.


About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming loves to put both sides of her brain to use. A writer since childhood, she runs the critically-acclaimed blog and writes for major news sources as an expert on the legal and social issues surrounding sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity. Lauren also started Frisky Feminist Press (, which features sexual education guides and classes from the top sex educators on the Internet. From ivy-league universities to major conferences, Lauren has spoken all over the country and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, educational workshops. Check out her workshop page for a complete list of workshops and upcoming speaking engagements. A law school graduate, she started Creativity Squared, LLC to help bloggers, writers and other creative types turn their ideas into practical, sustainable products or services. Lauren particularly loves helping people find and amplify their voice, dig deep to write their difficult truths, and make a profit by doing what they love. Lauren offers her consulting services through group classes and individual coaching. Lauren is currently shopping her memoir, Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger, based on her popular Curve magazine sex blog. She is also working on a diverse young adult series. Lauren is represented by Jane Dystel of DGLM.
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12 Responses to For My Brother, Andrew Joseph Fleming, November 21, 1986 to November 5, 2012

  1. I am so sorry Lauren! This has been one of my favorite poems for a long time…thank you for sharing such beauty, even in such a painful dark moment. I’m sure it reflects the beauty of your relationship with your brother. :(

  2. I don’t know what to say: but if you were here. I’d hold you the entire day.


    I am so very sorry.

  3. nikkiana says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. Peace be with you and your family in this time of grief.

  4. Momo Fali says:

    I must just now be seeing this because I held my cousin’s hand as she lay dying on Wednesday night; diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago. Her funeral was yesterday. She was 41 years old. I am so sorry that you are suffering right now. I hope that in our lifetime people will be able to stop telling these sad stories. Much love to you and yours.

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