Ode to a Little-Known Uncle

I would not use two hands to count memories of my mother’s uncle.

I knew only that his hands had plucked her from deep waters.

That he had become her hero when she was too small to swim.

This hero passed on in a scene not unheard of to an officer of the law.

How many times, I wonder, had his wife played this scene in her head?

How tragically romantic that she would hold him as he lay bleeding on the ground;

That they would whisper, “I love you,” and then he would fly away to Jesus.

What a dreadful coward, this bullet Cancer, which stole his life on the restaurant floor.

But I know that this heaven-bound hero did not die unloved.

It was enough to know when I held my mother as she cried.


1Corinthians 15:55

“Where, O death, is your victory?
      Where, O death, is your sting?”


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