Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview
Chris Tse

Uncle Willie

Afternoon tea
at the Oriental Fruit Company
requires a wedge of pineapple cheese
and Uncle Willie is always the first
to dash down Jackson Street to procure it.
Any excuse to get out of the shop.
Dinners are different if one works
in a fruit shop; our fingers
know the stories of rotten apples and cabbages.
Only the freshest vegetables for Willie –
he’ll kick up a fuss if offered leftovers.
The key to keeping him happy is to throw
a shiny fried egg in front of him; you’d think
he was just given a solid gold nugget.
While he’s distracted,
lovingly tending to his egg,
we’ll sneak off to the upstairs bathroom
and find his lusty magazines,
finger the pages painted with bikinis
and listen carefully to the give-away crack
of Willie on wooden floorboards.
He teases us, tells us he uses shoe polish
to keep his hair jet black. We’re pretty sure
he’s having us on, but then how is it possible
to have hair darker than the pit of night?
It’s uncanny how his hair does match
our polished shoes.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Airini Beautrais
Jenny Bornholdt
Amy Brown
Lynn Davidson
Emily Dobson
Fiona Farrell
Cliff Fell
Janis Freegard
Helen Heath
Anne Kennedy
Stefanie Lash
Jan Lauwereyns
Vana Manasiadis
Talia Marshall
James McNaughton
Alice Miller
Gregory O’Brien
Frances Samuel
Robyn Schiff
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Chris Tse  
Nick Twemlow
Ashleigh Young

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