All Grown Up

You wore the whimsy of light
in strawberry hair,  in summer tanned
hands,  and eyes as blue as a July sky.
You were a song
that sparkled the wind.

Unfettered, you flew so quickly
we couldn’t keep up. Maybe grownups
invent rules to maintain control. If
that was true, it was not
a conscious thing…

More like self-preservation,  or maybe
just holding on. I don’t remember
when it was you went from sagging socks
to nylons,  or when you quit naming frogs
in the garden

And sneaking them into your room.
But here you are all grown up, frowning
over calculus, balancing equations
that I don’t understand; the strawberry
hair coifed neatly,

The summer tanned hands manacled
by a perfect manicure
and the blue eyes shadowed
by secrets
you will not share.


Aunt Mae, thin as a reed
but not nearly as supple
saved everything…

She saved photos and programs,
old clothes, shoes she’d outgrown
and dentures in a can.

Not one for mincing her words,
she was noted for her sharp tongue
and her rich kitchen,

She baked and roasted, sautéed
and toasted and was well noted
for her generosity.

As I mentioned, she saved everything
but we, her closest kin
were hard pressed to explain

why she kept that antique coffee grinder
with handle missing, coffee beans
still in its drawer,

and one old spare tire on a rusted rim,
worn thin of any tread, and busted
beyond fixing,

but we were sure there was a reason,
so, as a matter of respect
we kept them too,

or maybe, in truth, we keep them
just to cause consternation
for the next generation.

After all, why deprive them
of the pleasure of such a find,
and the glory

of creating their own story
about Aunt Mae, whom none of us really knew
until we packed up her things.