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Gwendolyn Brooks

Uncle Seagram

My uncle likes me too much.


I am five and a half years old, and in kindergarten.
In kindergarten everything is clean.


My uncle is six feet tall with seven bumps on his chin.
My uncle is six feet tall, and he stumbles.
He stumbles because of his Wonderful Medicine
Packed in his pocket all times.


Family is ma and pa and my uncle,
three brothers, three sisters, and me.


Every night at my house we play checkers and dominoes.
My uncle sits close.
There aren't any shoes or socks on his feet.
Under the table a big toe tickles my ankle.
Under the oilcloth his thin knee beats into mine.
And mashes. And mashes.


When we look at TV
my uncle picks me to sit on his lap.
As I sit, he gets hard in the middle.
I squirm, but he keeps me, and kisses my ear.


I am not even a girl.


Once, when I went to the bathroom,
my uncle noticed, came in, shut the door,
put his long white tongue in my ear,
and whispered 'We're Best Friends, and Family,
and we know how to keep Secrets.'


My uncle likes me too much. I am worried.


I do not like my uncle anymore.



Brooks, Gwendolyn. Children Coming Home. Chicago, IL: The David Company, 1991.