Day 15 of napowrimo (late) – for Uncle Paul

19 Apr

I remember him running, almost bent double, suit jacket flapping behind him
Looking like a mallard trying to fly, Uncle Paul chased the football
Overdressed as always for a summer day of playing in the park, sweat ran in rivers down his face
He lived for games, did Uncle Paul; football, cricket, darts, cards…
He had an Atari console – the first I ever saw, and he let us play on Space Invaders

Uncle Paul lived with grandma and grandad. Their massive dog Gemma ran him ragged.
He was of very slight build and I only noticed how short he was as I grew so much taller
In many ways, Uncle Paul was only halfway here and as the games receded, so did he
His hip gave out; he couldn’t run any more. Grandma’s death broke his heart
Grandad couldn’t look after him, so Uncle Paul went to live in a home.

Games and summer running were replaced by drinking and falling over
Every time I saw him he looked smaller, but the intensity in his eyes remained
His voice was hoarse, his laugh high-pitched, his legs even bonier now under a blanket somewhere
Grandad died and Uncle Paul receded ’til you wouldn’t have thought a person could recede any more
Then yesterday Uncle Paul died.
I haven’t seen him for years.

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2 Responses to “Day 15 of napowrimo (late) – for Uncle Paul”

  1. skat June 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

    So good, Bryan, and so very sad!

    • BRH June 20, 2017 at 7:19 am #

      Thanks Kat!

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