Our Little Uncle - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Our Little Uncle


                                                               Woodrow Griggs
                                                               15 Oct 1916 – 8 July 1917
                                                               —marker in Hite Cemetery, Randolph Co., Arkansas   

                        An early miscarriage, then two stillbirths—
                        But this one lived, a tussling boy quick at
                        The teat. They called him for the President
                        (A Democrat this time, who knew the South).
                        Precocious was a word they never used,
                        But judged him quicker than a scalded cat,
                        For he was that and some. He strained to talk
                        Before he turned to crawl—took all things in.
                        Pleased with himself (and them), he’d possum-grin
                        And tap his fists in telegraphic glee—
                        Until first summer’s fever came, broke off
                        All games for good, consigning him within  
                        An oval frame above his parents’ bed. 
                        There we, small nephews, nieces, older than
                        He grew to be, slipped in to puzzle at
                        Our mothers’ brother’s lacey cap and gown.  

William Bedford Clark has retired from the Department of English at Texas A&M University after 43 years of service. He is the author of Blue Norther and Other Poems (2010) and a chapbook, Ways and Means (2016).

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