Uncle Moscow

by Bill Yarrow

He asked me to bury him in Reno.
Instead, I had him cremated in Trenton.
But I did hang his dog tags on a high bough
of an alder tree outside the Frontier Hotel.
The last time I saw him was in an assisted-
living facility in Pennsauken. He stuck out
a wine-dark tongue and punched me
in the chest. Poor one-eyed Uncle Moscow—
blinded when a fruit fly flew into his eye,
nonplussed when two hitchhikers sitting
in his backseat smacked his balding head
with a ball-peen hammer and stole his car.
He had a mind like a whorehouse martini, but
does that negate the leverage of a man's heart?