Uncle
Pauline Arroyo
His four pills,
Crowded together like bundles of wheat ready for the grinder.
His two steaming mugs of tea with perennial coats,
Somehow adding to the cold outlook glimmering in his eyes.
His lips smack and gape, but do not sweeten the vestigial herbs floating over his tongue.
Red sweater tucked around his inch-short neck,
Spoon spinning in fingers that never grasped a verse,
His toes purpling on clawing wood
Microwave flashes night,
Off go his pitter-patter feet,
To dreams without heads,
And morning without assurance of that paternal hand that only quivers,
Never resting
--like a stork at the water’s edge—
On his hunch-backed shoulders.
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