For My Uncle

We used to write, you and I,

When I was too small to grasp

The world or anything in it,

And you were afraid

Of what I would find if I knew;

So I waited by the mailbox

For your watchful answers.


I asked you Why.

Why is it so easy to hurt

And to harm the ones we love

When we're just being honest?

Why can't I feel the way I should

If I was shaped by a perfect god

And I made myself wrong?

Why couldn't I just undo it?

Why would they call my wicked if it wasn't true?


You wrote to me about David

And the house you were building together;

Your yardwork and the years you'd spent

Removing the trees from your old yard,

Once green in their youth

Now clothed in molded leaves

And a perfume sickly sweet;

The fruits that rotted on their limbs

Suffocated by the sickness within the soil

That had eaten through the tree long before,

Before it had bloomed the flowers that birthed the fruit

And blotted them out before they could sweeten,

Never given the chance to grow,

So you laid down new roots elsewhere.

For sitting in the shallow shade of freshly grown trees

Is better than basking in the sweet rot of the ones you were given.


Now that I'm older, 

I wait by the mailbox

And the letters no longer come. 

I still don't understand the world

Or anything in it

But I write to you

And I think if you could write to me too,

You would still give me all the answers.

This poem is about: 
My family


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