I rest my teacup on the sturdy wooden table
Uncle Bill made me ten years ago.
I use it every day and sometimes forget it’s there.
But I could never forget Uncle Bill.
Strong and quiet,
generous to a fault,
he was the first Italian I knew up close.
I loved his liquid brown eyes,
warm smile, and understated laugh,
sort of a low chuckle.
He fostered in me the sense of security
that everything would be okay.
The father of three rough-and-tumble boys,
he took my sisters and me out in his rowboat
and made us wear lifejackets.
We sat very still.
I can still remember
the muscles in his forearms
as he rowed to get us safely back to shore.