The Uncle – by Matthew McFarlane

I was younger then, he told us sternly,
Then winked and pulled a card from the deck,
I hadn’t met your aunt, so no harm done,
We grinned and swore to never tell a soul.

It was at a small kitchen table covered
In the rings of one glass a thousand times,
The light still dancing softly on the walls
After Tom bumped his head on the fixture.

We played cards and he made smart remarks,
Letting us feel like adults, like equals,
We loved him for it, not quite knowing
When to laugh and when to watch his eyes.


Matthew McFarlane is a writer and editor living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He writes poetry and fiction with an emphasis on image and space. When he is not writing, he enjoys exploring the natural beauty of western Michigan with his fiancé and his dog.