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Uncle John

He was such a gentle man my grandmother says, more like a father to your grandfather. He wiped dishes, picked up eggs, fed chickens, rocked the baby basket. Uncle John read to my mother the only adult, she said that read to her and he told her that after she learned she could read the stories back to him. Years before, he'd had a wife and son. But one June day the low land was flooded. His team lost footing, rolled into the creek. He'd thought he'd passed the narrow horseshoe bend when the team, buggy and all were plunged into the swollen deep. Uncle John couldn't swim, couldn't let go of the hind wheel, couldn't rescue his wife who couldn't let go of the dashboard, wouldn't let go of their baby son until her hold gave way and Uncle John watched them go. Fifty years after the breakdown, the hospital stint in Jordan, MN, he will learn to love to watch TV, boxing especially. He will laugh and yell from the corner of the room, in the comfy rocker only a handful of miles from the creek, a few more from the graveyard.

Story by:

Mark Dennis Anderson


19 April 2016