The Existence of Uncles

BY Duncan Campbell

Who wastes any thought on uncles?
On being an uncle? Uncles,
the dead-end of genetics:
they don't have children of their own
and so become best-known as uncles.  

The most dangerous part of the family
is always the uncle. An uncle is often a sheep
in sheep's clothing, or its opposite.  
Uncles are nearly extinct
in the western hemisphere; 

unloved brothers will go forth and multiply
the population of uncles.  
Uncles are the first to go bald.  
If one finds something precious
has gone missing, an uncle 

is usually to blame. In many cultures
individuals predisposed to witchcraft
will curse their enemies with a lack of uncles.  
Without an uncle one will become
impoverished, unlucky, and dumb.


Duncan Campbell reads "The Existence of Uncles"

Duncan Campbell holds an MFA in writing from the University of New Hampshire. His poems have appeared in burntdistrict, El Aleph Magazine, elimae, Stoneboat, Sun’s Skeleton, and Transom, and he co-edits the multi-genre literary journal Paper Nautilus. A chapbook, Farmstead, Fire, Field, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications.