my Uncle Etheridge
was grace personified
a Kentucky horseman
of noble heart

my grandmother’s dear brother
who frequently had
a formidable pipe
clenched between his teeth
and from him plumed
rich histories in tobacco smoke

finely crafted stories
commanding our young attention

dignified in a way few men are
what I loved most about him
was his deep bass voice
a black velvet tide
rolling toward you
a gentle thunder
over a Bluegrass prairie