poem: uncle george

(339 words) July 2018

by Steven R.A. Markin

my photo album knocked over, and pictures fell to the ground
memories scattered on the floor,
and one stood out
that I haven’t seen in years,
and sadly,
I haven’t thought of you in a long time.
It is from ’88,
i was two-years-old sitting next to uncle George.
You had both of your legs in the picture,
a large gut,
and you were looking at me smiling.
I am smiling and looking away.
My hoods up,
and your jackets not done up,
we were in Edmonton
on a bench.
You use to take me to the falls
we would feel the water mist,
and hike,
and climb,
as high as we could.
sometimes we would take my cousin, Candice,
but we know you loved me the most.
Did I tell you that she nearly killed me
by kicking a boulder down the mountain,
well, it bounced over my head,
she bought me bags of candy to keep quiet.
don’t worry,
she also tried to teach me karate
to fight off my bullies.
honestly, though,
I can’t seem to remember much,
I remember each time you visited,
you went from a cane with one leg,
then to a wheelchair,
with no legs.
I recall you being lively with your words,
fun and energetic when I was around.
Dad says that you were a bullshiter,
who lied, but meant well.
I think you owe him 20$.
I remember us getting the phone call,
and we got in the van and drove to Edmonton
from Calgary that very day.
We didn’t do that for grandpa,
or Grandma.
I remember the room being dim,
Auntie stood next to the bed,
and Candice.
I was young, but they all said you haven’t spoken,
not a word from your mouth.
You looked at me, and Auntie said
that was the happiest you have looked.
I walked over
and you spoke.
I never heard what you said,
and it has bothered me.
But maybe Uncle George,
that was the point:
now I listen.


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