When I was 9
my Uncle came to stay with us
in the upstairs guestroom
where my sister used to live
(the one off at college)

He was just back from the War and
was very quiet
He didn't talk at dinner or
while we watched T.V. or
when we played board games

The last time I saw my Uncle was the 4th of July
There was a big parade in town.
After dark lots of people were shooting off fireworks
My Dad looked all over for him that night,
but didn't find him anywhere.

The next day he was gone.
my parents said he had "moved out"

A couple months later
when I was supposed to be asleep
I heard my parents talking downstairs

it turned out my Dad had found my Uncle that night
He was in the guestroom, hiding under the bed
I remember my dad saying that the fireworks had
reminded him of something bad

I didn't know what he meant,
when I was nine.

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