Uncle Roy would get up early
just the summer dawn coloured
the Big Sky crowning the mountains.
I’d find him standing at the stove
stirring a pan of sausage gravy
or grilling fresh pancakes,
his brown leather box of frozen oxygen
hanging from his gaunt shoulders,
transparent plastic tubes jutting
from his nose providing him breath
as the emphysema drowned his lungs.
He didn’t cook for all visitors,
but we weren’t guests…
we were family.
The Musician’s Requiem
Look around the old tavern
at the stack of empty chairs,
the cushions still carry their imprint,
their place at the bar
still bear the circle rings
of empty glasses.
In half hidden corners
sit their instruments,
each crying to be held,
to feel the kiss of fingertips,
but the passing years lay dust on their frets.
Let us raise one last parting glass,
and sing one more song…
before our voices, too,
stretch into the quiet.
Nathan Tompkins is a writer from North Idaho, living in Portland. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Red Fez, Hobo Camp Review, and Menacing Hedge. His latest chapbook, Howl Drunkenly at the Moon, is available from Alien Buddha Press.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.