local_library Uncle Poem

by Sean Devine

Published in Issue No. 270 ~ November, 2019

I remember him drinking from our garden hose

because my dad said never to do that

so when he got throat cancer

I assumed that was the cause of it.


Looking back, it is much more likely unfiltered

Pall Malls and Jameson neat had caused 

the doctors to take out his

larynx so that he burped out his words when he talked.


His last Christmas, he sat there with a handkerchief

covering the hole in his throat as my

mother passed him groceries

from a brown paper bag, each wrapped like a present:


a can of waxed beans,

instant coffee,




He pretended to pull the top joint from his thumb 

while I drank cambric tea listening to

my mother’s stories from her

childhood and he laughed without making a sound.

account_box More About

Sean Devine is a Massachusetts native who now lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. He is employed as the Director of Education for Academic Programming, a title that sounds far more glamorous than it is, at a school district in Morris county. Sean's work has appeared in the Euphony Journal, pif, and Backchannels.