“Uncle Neto” by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider


Uncle Neto was always either standing up
or lying down.
He didn’t like to sit.
He wasn’t fond of chairs
or stools
or sofas or any
of that nonsense.
Uncle Neto stood up
at the bar
he stood up at the party
stood up at work
in the yard
in the living room
while watching 
a ballgame.
Have a seat Uncle Neto, 
someone always said.
I’m ok.
Eventually he’d go straight
from standing up
to lying down.
Uncle Neto lay down in bed
Uncle Neto lay down in the kitchen
Uncle Neto lay down in the yard.
The only time he ever sat
was while driving
his big old green truck
fidgety behind the wheel
especially if there was traffic.
He didn’t like it
and nobody else liked it either.
That was Uncle Neto.
We didn’t understand 
but we loved him. 
We loved him standing up
or lying down.
And then finally 
only lying down.

from Rattle #76, Summer 2022


Mather Schneider: “I don’t like trying to come up with something clever for these things. I write poetry and prose when there is something I want to put down. I don’t like writing for the hell of it. My favorite desert animal is the javelina, which looks just like a little pig.”

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