Uncle Phil by Tom McColl

I was throwing darts
at the dartboard
pinned to a wardrobe
at my Uncle Phil’s.

Uncle Phil came in.
He wasn’t really my uncle,
but then he wasn’t really a dartboard either,
and when he said
I’m just getting something from the wardrobe,
and had his back to me
as he opened the wardrobe door,
I threw the dart.

How he yowled
as I hit the bullseye
right between the shoulder blades.

I was five,
and I’ve never felt so alive
before or since
as when I heard that dull thud
and saw my mum’s friend –
my fake uncle –

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.



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