Family Business

Prose poem first published in Lights #1 zine, from Pleasure Boat Studio, April 2020, page 96. Originally written in April of 2006.       +

My undertaker uncle hadn’t seen a shooting victim for years. He said it would have to be a closed casket because the guy’d been shot in the face. Only twenty years old, in the 7-Eleven for a slurpy. Uncle Phil comes over for dinner once a month, when it’s dad’s turn to host poker night. Mom asks him not to tell these stories but we always ask. Every week, Mom feeds everyone her banana-nut bread, except for Uncle Phil, who’s allergic. Last week Mom said that she wants to be cremated, but Dad says that wouldn’t be good for his brother’s business.