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.
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