Not So Great

/ /

My great uncle
on my mother’s side,

a closeted Catholic priest–
or so the gossip followed

wherever he went—
when he saw me

would always say
for a great nephew

you ain’t so great.
Expected to sing song

for a great uncle
you ain’t so great.

And I would at first
with glee joining in

on such blasphemy
but less and less so

as the years went by
and the truth of silence

hardened, candle wax.
Now it’s just sad

to glean the self-hate
sewn into that game

and the shame
that came

with taking it out
stitch by stitch.