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in nineteen twenty two
he fell really sick
my father’s little brother
three year old Cliff

Diphtheria, the doctors said

perhaps it hurt his brain
for after he recovered
anger and violence came

Dad said he was
'normal, but threw real hissy fits’
then, more and more, came mood swings
that only Dad could fix

at times uncontrollable
at age twenty-five
to the sorrow of my grandparents
was institutionalised

my father saw him often
Mum kept us away
‘mental patients are dangerous’
was the sad way in those days

so I never got to know him
as I did my other kin
but I remember him distinctly
a handsome gentleman

I have a photo of him
when he was very small
blonde hair like my father
a big and beaming smile

I have a childhood memory
of a gentle-seeming guy
bright eyes like my Dad’s
reflecting the summer sky

he passed on back in the sixties
when he was forty-seven
a healthy individual
I’ll always have suspicion
for knowing what I know now
of mental care back then
I believe he would have been abused
that beautiful blue eyed man

half of his entire life
he spent within a prison
wasted years in what was then
the Insane Asylum
and when I heard that he had gone
I felt intense deep pain

I was acquainted with him hardly at all
but when he died
I cried

over the years I’ve loved and lost
and now so very much miss
many people I have known
but, for them, I rarely weep
they all lived happy, useful lives
and were able to make many friends
and no matter how young or old they were
they left something at the end

then I think of a lonely man
so much like my father
who lived his life not knowing life
and not knowing many others

and sometimes when I ponder
what’s fair in all our grief
I think of the uncle I never knew

and I still have tears for Cliff

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
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Beautifully done. Heart braking and poignant,

Thank you very much
I am glad you liked this
love judy

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

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