Your uncle died,
reminding me of my uncle’s death,
and my grief
and my mother’s pain.
She never really came back after that,
needed him in a way I had not seen.
He was her older brother, always there,
worshipped, and now, smaller, younger sister,
despite children and grandchildren, loved.
I saw her attune her ear, differently, here and there.
A photo of my mother and her brother at probably five and seven
in a rowboat on a lake graces my refrigerator.
I am aware the ache of loss never rows away.