One, two, three, four, five. Five.
I have five Uncles. My Grandmother had five sons. Five.
Five boys. One house.
One whole counted hand of converse sneakers, scraped knees, dirt and mud, baseball, blue jeans, late homework assignments, broken bicycles, stray animals, campouts, tree houses, bruised bodies, fist fights… my poor Grandmother. I can’t even imagine. And they are all so unique.
My Uncle Don is wise. He pursued education and has a quiet but loving manner about him.
My Uncle Jim is the ace. He’s talented at everything he does and can smooth talk his way out of anything. He’s always got a wink and a sly smile ready.
My Uncle Chris is the joker. He embraces his goofiness and can make my entire family cry from belly-aching laughter in 30 seconds flat.
My Uncle Doug is a ham. He’s sincere to the core and gives the best hugs.
My Uncle Shawn is a sweetheart. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him.
Although this photo only features three of my Uncles, I love how much it captures their personalities. Uncle Don the ‘wise’ and oldest is on the far right. Uncle Jim the ‘ace’ is center, and Uncle Chris the ‘joker’ is far left.
Rushford Lake on a hot summer day.
Call your boys, now that the table is set and shining,
no one’s seen, them in many days,
Call your boys, they shot a buzzard off a Chrysler,
and you still taste, all that you swallowed before grace,
and you’ll forgive, even the time they burned the hen house,
and ran from you, and ran to the hills with burning hands,
setting sun, framed in the doorway right behind you,
several chores, surely some lessons left to tell,
setting sun, wolves in the hills are now before you,
sit you boys, each with their shining silverware,
they’ll bury you under wood beside the carport,
bury you, at some neon stop along the way,
radio fuzz, on the fencepost by the pasture,
long ago, Liza and you would dance all day,
now you lay, buried to stir and a sacred father,
in a sacred urn, under a billboard, in the rain,
but one last toast, here’s to the brave who went before us,
and died in vain, died in a movie for a dream.