My Uncle’s Grand Tour

You always tell it the same: fresh off the flight
to Amsterdam you got no further than
some sunlit canal and a Moroccan
who measured hash in bites he spat into his palm.
Grand Tour of Europe in the 80’s – three months
stoned and dirty, water bright off the canal.
Then in August, frightened of your folks
you bought a Frommer’s guide to crib from on the plane.

Back home you smiled lies, came to remember
train timetables, statues, Matterhorn and Zee.
The Moroccan gone, the bike bells, filthy jeans.
But we know: all these years we’ve spent that summer:
glowing wasted hours of bit hash in our palms,
our lost young selves draped sun-blind on the stones.


Ray Nayler

About Ray Nayler

Ray Nayler’s poetry has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Weave, Juked, Able Muse, Sentence, Phantom Limb, and many other magazines. His novel American Graveyards was published in the UK by Third Alternative Press. His cross-genre short stories have been published or are upcoming in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the Berkeley Fiction Review, among others. He is a Cultural Affairs Officer with the Department of State, currently posted to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. You can follow him and find links to his work at
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.