Wine or Vinegar

Uncle Beppi used to make his own sausages
Uncle Beppi used to grow his own tomatoes, in a garden that was half farm, half dream of childhood
Were there really scorpions in his backyard in Timmins?
Did the ‘death of Don Corleone’ scene from The Godfather really happen right there
among his staked peas and beans? Nobody knows.
His homemade wine was more wine than vinegar, but sometimes it was vinegar to us
He used to cut it two-thirds with gingerale, but didn’t tell that to guests
to whom he served it straight
With swirling sediment from the grape flesh and skins
Uncle Beppi’s table in the basement was at least 100 miles long,
how else did it seat all 40 of us at Easter dinner?
Uncle Beppi would walk up and down the hundred miles,
You couldn’t see him in the distance but you could hear him coming
Uncle Beppi’s ears flapped like sails or solar panels
On his red face carved deep with dimple lines around his permanent smile
and crows feet and broom and mustache
Uncle Beppi was an immigrant Hero
Uncle Beppi survived Mussolini
Uncle Beppi discovered the Americas
Uncle Beppi was a bunker of Italian
where the rest were swept away
in billows with the snow blowers
They froze in 40 below or were buried in 6 feet of powder
Uncle Beppi’s garden was bathed in mediterranean sun
with jeweled flower pedals fallen on the beat dirt paths barefoot
In Canadian January
Uncle Beppi’s wine was more wine than vinegar
But it was also vinegar to us

From Day 3 Prompt: “Today I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by”
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