Hug

Team Uncle

You with your Florida tan
set against blue eyes of secrets.
& your smile, the warmth of your hug,
your kiss on my pale cheek.

I could see so many things
you could not say to those
around you, how you listened

quietly & sometimes shook your head
at the way we all become or think or
revel in our own lost ways.

& I remember when we played
the bean-bag toss that summer day,
how your knees ached & I could see
your difficulty.

I bent down & picked them up for
you…

You said “thank you, darlin” each time &
who knew that would be our first & final
games together.

The last time I saw you was on
your birthday, basking in the sun &
content it wasn’t raining in Seattle.

I leaned down to hug you,
wish you a Happy one.
A kiss on my neck like a sweet

Florida orange. A finality I did not
yet know.

& I heard about those
hurricanes that demolished your
childhood. How angry my inward

fits have been, (knowing all too well
how cradles can fall at various speeds).

I guess I’m just writing this
to tell you, that wherever you
are now…

I’m still on your team.

-Heather Lenz
February 16, 2016

Poet, writer, artist, publisher, editor