Note from Aunt Jo

Sometimes life seems like a blur of color
And sound. Events emerge, retreat, emerge
again. Faces, moments large and smaller,
Once important, now dim in time’s dark dirge.
Old songs, old fashions, worries, memories
family and old loves in faded ink
Safe in small boxes, the past’s treasury,
three-cent stamps, folded paper, the heart’s link.
“Dear Martha Ann. Thank you for the flowers.
Uncle Hank is here, too. Some days we do
OK but on other days we’re slower.
I just wanted to say thanks. We love you.”

“I love you, too, Aunt Jo,” I say, sure she,
in the timeless stream of being, hears me.

Yesterday I did some cleaning and found (again) a bunch of old letters I have saved. I guess I saved them so that when I clean, I can find them again. 😀 Among these letters, I have the letter from my dad to my grandmother enclosing a train ticket. The ticket, obviously, is not in the letter. The event was my birth. I was very small when I was born and they were afraid… well here I am, so… That letter is the one that says “Air, special delivery.”

They had spoken on the phone before that, but my grandmother never liked the phone and she was on a 3 party line anyway. Whenever the phone rang in her house she would jump up, startled, and say, “My lord.” Long distance calls were (to my grandmother) very expensive. It’s hard to fathom that in these days when people carry their phones around with them everywhere and spend a LOT of time on them. The top letter in the photo is a birthday card from my grandmother on my first birthday.

The note from my Aunt Jo was thanks for a Christmas present — plants that she could grow at “the home” where she and my uncle had gone to live in the last two or three years of their lives.

This is a Shakespearean sonnet and here’s a very complete and somewhat annoying explanation of what that is. I write them because they’re easy and I don’t have to think that much about the form. I’m also not very fascistic about following iambic pentameter since English more or less forms itself into that rhythm pattern anyway.

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