On summer Sundays my seven uncles
burst through the door with flower pots
of American Beauty rose for Grandma.
Dressed in starched white shirts,
they all scrubbed up after
a week’s work at the stockyards.
These tall, red headed men
leaned down to swoop up teensy
Grandma in their strong arms.
They carried memories
of family stories,
each with his own version
of the truth that neither God
nor Grandma fully understood.
I knew when to laugh until
their Irish tempers raged
like the rumbling before
a summer storm blows in.
Sudden surges of electric
energy and lightning flashed.
Then they trudged onto the porch,
cooled off, smothered me in hugs,
kissed Grandma good-bye and drove
their freshly washed cars into evening.
From Voices: Lost and Found (The Lives You Touch Publications, 2011).
Used with the author’s permission.