Visiting Uncle Art (a pantoum) – Joanne Kennedy Frazer

Dad’s bounden duty dictated a family visit
on the occasional Sunday afternoon
to Uncle Art’s three room shanty
down a rutted dirt road, deep in Florida woods.

On the occasional Sunday afternoon
making moonshine was Uncle Art’s hobby
down a rutted dirt road, deep in Florida woods.
A secret, but the kids knew the score.

Making moonshine was Uncle Art’s hobby.
Mother viewed Dad’s kin as refined as swamp gators.
A secret, but the kids knew the score.
We brood of seven relished these outings.

Mother viewed Dad’s kin as refined as swamp gators.
Uncle Art wasn’t any great shakes,
but we brood of seven relished these outings.
Concocting plans to get to the hooch was exhilarating.

Uncle Art wasn’t any great shakes.
Volkswagen parked, we tumbled giggling through its double doors.
Concocting plans to get to the hooch was exhilarating.
Mother sat on a chair borrowed from the kitchen table.

Volkswagen parked, we tumbled giggling through its double doors
and played on the hard pine-needle soil.
Mother sat on a chair borrowed from the kitchen table
daring us to approach the shed that hid the still.

We played on the hard pine-needle soil.
Uncle Art and Dad positioned themselves on the back stoop
daring us to approach the shed that hid the still
while they deliberated important stuff.

Uncle Art and Dad positioned themselves on the back stoop.
Passing the juice jar, life presented its carefree side
while they deliberated important stuff.
Heading home Mother took the steering wheel.

Passing the juice jar, life presented its carefree side.
Our contriving never brought us close to the brew.
Heading home Mother took the steering wheel
as we inhaled fumes of the men’s conversation.

Our contriving never brought us close to the brew
at Uncle Art’s three room shanty
except to inhale fumes of the men’s conversation.
Dad’s bounden duty dictated a family visit


Joanne K FrazerJoanne Kennedy Frazer, a retired peace and justice director and educator for faith-based organizations, delights in exploring the kinship among all creation through her poetry. Three of her poems have been turned into a song cycle by composer C.M. Fuentes. Her poetry appears in three Old Mountain Press’ anthologies, in Poetic Portions 2015 anthology, and will appear in Soul-lit Journal of Spiritual Poetry and Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine. She resides in Durham, NC.