by Michael Macklin
So maybe I was the one
your mother never mentioned
or your father who was still healing
after I ran over his knees
with my Arctic Cat while he waited
for some winter–slow fish to rise
through that frosty hole in the lake,
both of us probably blind drunk.
I’d have sworn you’d remember,
pink cheeky little porker, all of two,
wrapped in the extra mackinaws,
burbling to the spare propane tank
next to you like an extra brother.
That was me and Jack Daniels
spinning donuts on the ice
to make you smile one more time.
Ah, Nanookster, I carried that
Coleman–bright look through every dive
and truck stop from the County
to Panama and keep it still
wadded up in the back closet
of my bourbon-soaked brain
like a rabbit’s foot worn fuzzy
from use. I may not have been much
of an uncle, but you were always
a soul–stealin’ smiler.