Tuesday, March 7, 2017

3/7/17 #sol17 Uncle John

Uncle John

Tonight, I was struggling for a topic. Then, as I sat down at my laptop, my cell phone rang. It was my Uncle John, my godfather who lives out in Vegas. I haven't talked to him in a while and it was so good to hear his voice. We were going to both be in LA at the same time this week, but he was calling to say that his plans got changed.

I decided to write about John using a poem structure Kate Messner writers about in her book 59 Reasons to Write. I used my grandparent's old phone number to help structure the number of words in each sentence.

My Uncle John lives
so far away.
We don't see him often,
but he's a constant presence
in the family's lore.

When he comes back home,
his voice, his laughter,
his story-telling
fill the room.

He's sick now. Cancer.

I heard his voice tonight:
Quieter, softer, sadder.
My throat is thick with tears.

He's so far away,
but constantly present,
In my thoughts, in my heart.


  1. My brother-in-law is fighting that same battle. The ones we love are never far from our hearts. I will remember your Uncle John in my prayers tonight.

  2. My daughter-in-law's mother also has that same cancer. I'll say some extra prayers for all our loved ones. ~JudyK

  3. Oh, this is heartbreaking. What a sweet tribute to your uncle. I forgot about Kate Messner's book. I'm going to pull it out right now for SOL inspiration for my students and me. Thanks for the reminder. This is a great idea for a structure. I'm sorry you won't be able to see your uncle in LA. :-(

  4. It is totally cool that you used your grandparents' phone number to structure the number of words in each line. What a beautiful testimony to your dear uncle! So sad that you cannot see him this week.