Going back to November's Chapbook Challenge; there were so many poems I wanted to write and this one about my aunt is one that I definitely wanted to get written. I finally completed it and will add this to my chapbook.
I finally found a photo of Aunt Betty looking straight on. I didn't post it before because my Mom didn't know she was coming to a reunion we had here and she is crying. My Mom does not cry easily at all and this was very touching for us.
Beautiful Aunt Betty
She’s beautiful says my best friend
don’t you hope you look like her when
you grow up. The memory of the time
my Aunt Betty took me to live with her
and her family comes flooding back. They
couldn’t afford another mouth to feed,had
two children of her own and one on the way.
I thought they were rich and I was proven
correct that first morning when she asked
me what kind of cereal I’d like for breakfast.
She had three to choose from.I was overwhelmed
so she chose for me. Yes, she really is
beautiful,I tell my best friend, I hope
I grow up to be like her.
My Sunday School teacher tells me
in front of the class how beautiful Betty is.
I look up at my teacher but my vision is
of my aunt who plays the piano in church
as I sing spirituals loud and out of tune.
The tears course down my cheeks each time
she plays because her music touches me
so deeply I feel it is a spiritual experience
all by itself. I am so proud of her and what
she could do and who she was. I nod to my
sunday school teacher, Yes, Mam, she is beautiful.
Your Aunt Betty is beautiful, Judy, she’s really
stunning says my husband when he meets her
for the first time. Later he would say how well
she ages and you can tell she has a good
heart and she loves you. I burst with pride at
the remembrance of how she would protect me
even against small injustices here and there.
How she made sure that she gave me exactly
the same number of candy corns that her son
had. She knew somehow that it was important.
She had a love so deep for her children that just
the light from that spilled out on me and I was
happy when she was around. Yes, she does
shows her love and she is, indeed, beautiful.
What a beautiful woman your Aunt is says
the receptionist at the nursing home where she is
recuperating. I remember back to the times when
deep in my grief, she held me and let me cry. She
listened and held my hand while I screamed out
against the world, against a God who could allow
my son to die. How she came to his funeral to be
a support for my mother and me with her quiet
presence. I even believed her when she said I’d
find my way through this, though I couldn’t imagine
how. She told me what I needed to hear in our
phone calls, sent me letters and cards and made
a wall hanging with my son in a choir of angels
that was precious to me. Yes, she is beautiful
even when she isn’t feeling well, I reply.
I look at my aunt’s photo on the funeral card I
have in front of me and my tears fall because
I still miss her so much. Her death is still fresh
and we who loved her still so raw in grief and
missing her.I feel the love in her beautiful blue
eyes. I can feel her smooth hand on mine and the
flawless skin of her cheeks against mine as she
bears my pain with me. I can hear her voice on
the telephone telling me every thing is going
to be OK, soothing like a gentle spring rain as
it falls around me, over me, and through me
still. Yes, she sure was beautiful.She still
is for as long as we who love her live.
Nov 19, 2008