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Bad Uncle

ISSUE:  Summer 2016

He was the last cowboy in Massachusetts,
stabling the palomino in his mother’s garage,

buying a saddlery on Route 3A
when no one in fifty miles listened to country.

He slouched through our childhood, 
driving a tractor-trailer to the front door,

tooling around for a week in our push-button Chevy, 
pedal to the floor to “burn out the sin.”

Later he bought a sand farm west of Tucson 
and lived in a menagerie of wounds.

His gray wheezing cat looked stuffed—
a dog with a confidence problem, perhaps.

From him I learned pornography 
and the silence of the straight razor.


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