Uncle Dunkel skipped rocks:
he scalloped the sweltering air with a stone.
The man was mythic. He clambered up trees after cats,
strode along ridgepoles,
re-shingled roofs like an urban card shark armed with a royal flush.
Hands that were mostly bruises, blisters, and nicotine stains
hammered and drilled until,
cellar to roof, he built you a house.
Come Sundays, Uncle Dunkel folded his lanky frame,
like a daddy long legs, into our corner nook.
I poured pop from a teapot the size of my fist,
he cradled a tiny rose-sprigged cup.
And never spilled.
How fully engaged with nature, tools, and progress he was—and one small niece.
Did I take Uncle Dunkel’s gentle presence for granted? Sometimes. He didn’t live much beyond my 12th birthday. Given the chance to relive a single day, what might he have longed to witness, one last time? [Read more…]