Blood Relative

Cassie Flint Fancher

After three days at sea eating fried food
and on-demand ice cream,

velcroing seasickness bracelets to our wrists,
and wiping our lips on towels folded like swans,

my mother scrunched her nose
and called my Uncle Brett a fat November pig.

Brett ignored her, texting some Minnesota couple
he’d met at Swingers Night—the beneficiaries

of his charisma, he told us over plates 
of buttered escargot and three slices of cake.

The next night he took us below deck to see 
the cruise-ship version of Singin’ in the Rain,

where the actress playing Debbie Reynolds strips 
off her raincoat to reveal golden nipple-tassels.

My uncle monitored his spiking heartrate 
on his Fitbit. During the standing ovation,

my mother thanked God they weren’t related
by anything as thick as blood.

My sunburnt father said, A brother is a brother. 

Cassie Flint Fancher is a writer from New Haven, Vermont. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Florida. Her first book, Street of Widows, was the recipient of the Howard Frank Mosher First Book Award from Green Writers Press. More recently, her fiction has appeared in Nashville Review. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she works as a case writer at an immigration law firm.

Artwork: “Harborside Sunrise” by Albert John Belmont

Digital drawing

Comments are closed.