Treasure Island

RIC S. BASTASA


my auntie zousy


auntie zousy works
as caregiver for years in chicago
to raise her grandchildren

she sent her children
to the university and they got married
and got separated from their husbands

messy, the life of auntie zousy had
always been messy but she survives
somehow
always on the go
finding work as caregiver in the
united states of america

she's 75 now and on her birthday
a party is tendered
surrounded by her 30 grandchildren or so
and inside the grand old house
of her ancestors
the laughters redound
reverberating the happy sounds
of a big family

i look at her
she is short, and emaciated and
her cheekbones show that she is not at all well

sickly, that is what auntie zousy is now
bent and misshapen
and yet in her silence
she has not surrendered
to the sacrifices of
love for the family

her grandchildren now sing
her a happy birthday
and she blows her 75 candles
in one swift breath

suddenly the room is dark
and smoke rises in the air
and she makes her
silent wish and then the lights
are turned on and laughter
follows as it will always will

happy, so happy, that is what
my auntie zousy is all about
a life of sacrifice
a lifetime of service
a life full of family laughter
a life full of love

age has not stolen
what she has treasured
now she waits for something
more exciting

perhaps, a happy death
a funeral surrounded by all
the grandchildren she always loved

Submitted: Friday, August 08, 2008
Edited: Friday, August 08, 2008

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