My Uncle

July 4, 2017: Sail

The years faded the colors almost entirely away. I noticed spots of rust around the edges, sparking memories of the humid, salty shores. I closed my eyes and took a deep breathe as I pictured myself back on my uncle’s small boat, trying to make myself useful by staying out of his way, watching him raise the sail. “Watch and learn, kiddo. The sail is our best friend. If it weren’t for the sail, we’d have no way to escape and no way to return.” Once ready to do its work, the sail would expand with the wind and carry us away. It was a colorful sail, adding a bit of noise to the desolate sea.

It’s been years, now. Just a few, probably, but it feels like too many. I have the sail stored in a big box in the attic, next to old photos of my uncle and I out in the open sea. Maybe one day I’ll use it to escape again, but it would be hard to return without him. A tear escaped as I spread my hand along the once colorful sail.


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