Clem’s Stroke

A silent lightning
cracked him
in two, one leg
dangling a foot

that can’t feel
the floor
when he walks,
the other guiding it,

a zig-zag dance,
and he the impresario
with his cane.
My Uncle Clem,

the military man
once so tucked in
nobody
could dig him out,

now unable
to tuck himself,
or trust his slack
tongue with only

what he wants it
to say. Yet see
him smile
with bunny teeth

when he whispers
to the new girlfriend
he sits beside
and the feeling

that rises into
his fingers as he not
quite touches
her white hair,

arriving despite himself
out in the open,
his little death
bringing him to life.