A Story of My Uncle

on September 10 | in Stories, Uncategorized | by | with No Comments

I was four…

and my uncle,

for want of bread,



“I fed them everything,”

he said, triumphant

– his bulging sack

stinking brown

over his shoulder;

“I fed them everything,

and here is the sack,”

he said, to my mother

– her elbow outsticking

like a giant knuckle

from a green sweater.


He stood tall before me,

my black-headed uncle,

and I imagined him

wandering the shore

like some Francis,

casting crumbs

to the fish who gathered there.


“We will eat tonight,”

he said,

his load dropping

in a corner

down the long yellow veranda

where I supposed beetles hid.

“We will eat tonight!

Prepare the fish!”


It beckoned me,

that sack,


like the body of a fallen man;

but I was not brave enough,

in those days,

to touch things

in corners where beetles lay.


While my aproned mother


the white and steaming fish,

I studied: my uncle’s delight

his mouth,

the deliberate mixture

of earth and sea,


and discovered

how little he understood

the activities of saints.

But in my wisdom,

I too

stooped to eat.

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