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I gazed impassively.
at my uncle,
now an interloper.
Laid out, grey shroud,
dim lit room, could barely see.
This was the house he’d built himself.
Helped dad put a sink
in our first home.
Ripped up the stone flagged floor.
Laid asphalt throughout, door to door.
Once he took me down town
to buy mushrooms.
I didn’t like them.
“They'll soon grow on you.”
Held one to his nose
I imagined they might sprout through my clothes,
wondering how he’d been on The Burma Road.
Survived on nothing.
Dreamed of eating mushrooms.
After the war
he slept, light on all the time.
Feared a haircut, didn't say why.
Drank too much, never cried.
To see him trussed up,
left with the paraphernalia of death
seemed less than right.
He should have been dressed in builders clothes,
mushrooms scattered everywhere
beneath blazing lights,
after one last trim of his bright red hair,
turned white while he was over there.
Some man my uncle.

20 Oct 18

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