A Surprise Before Your Eyes - Poem by Colleen Wright
A Surprise before your Eyes!
My elderly Aunt May came to have dinner at our house
and she was, as usual, not like that of a quiet little mouse.
She really was one to chatter for most of the time,
and one would be lucky to get in a word, or mime.
Now our dear Aunt May was a real lady you should know,
as into town go, and she'd dress in her refinery to show
one and all, that she had what it took, to did the right thing,
as she ever so gracefully walked as a Queen with her King.
Now May's husband George, and Jeannie, her sister-in-law
were a close family and had deceased some years before.
So May managed really well on her very own,
even without the use of an ordinary telephone.
She'd 'quietly' have some bets on the horses,
as she'd dress to the hilt and always in corsets.
If she'd have a devilish and sly grin on her face,
then one knew she'd had a 'sure thing' in a race.
As Aunt May sat at our table with every grace displayed
and we all savored a roast dinner at the table well laid.
I'd cooked all day a three course meal, amidst the noise
of my family of five - including one girl and two boys.
Julie my precious little thirteen year old daughter,
always did as was asked – and as was taught her.
The brothers two, Russ and Steve were typical boys
and loved to tease their sister, and make much noise.
However, this day all was quiet as their dinner they ate
before it got too cold to enjoy, and it would then be too late.
Obviously it was being enjoyed, by all - the roast lamb and vegies,
with dark gravy, mint sauce, spuds, pumpkin, carrots and peas.
Oh, the broccoli I almost did forget to tell
of how that went down - not always well.
All vegies were grown from our vegie patch
and were as fresh as the day – a great batch.
Julie excused herself from the table, and called me
quietly to see something in the large, walk-in pantry.
I wondered what was going on for her to need me there,
and when there, she was in tears of laughter and despair.
'Oh Mum', she said, 'there's a caterpillar on Aunty May's plate -
what should we do? ', she giggled and with muffled laugh did wait
to get a quick answer to the problem - and swift it should be,
to see what was to become of that piece of invaded broccoli.
I straightened up my stance, and tried a 'straight face'
as I said to Julie, 'we must say nothing', as we did brace
ourselves to return to the table without obvious concern,
and hope that to wash the vegies better – a lesson did learn.
My daughter and I exchanged glances, and a sigh of relief
when we saw that May's empty plate was not to prove grief.
'That was a delicious meal, my dears', my Aunt exclaimed,
not knowing of that poor green caterpillar long since claimed.
Julie and I cleared those plates from the table
and we served desserts as soon as we were able.
Apricot pie with ice-cream was the sweet of the day,
and Aunt May declined, ' I've had sufficient', she did say.
So the pie was divided and placed on the plates
and ice-cream served with added preserved dates.
As we all began to eat and the boys did tuck in
Aunt May decided that maybe little, would not be a sin.
'I think I will have some of that dessert, my dear',
'it does look delicious from where I sit here'.
Now Julie and I instantly understood that our serves
now would be shortened – halved, as best they could.
We swiftly returned to the kitchen with dessert bowls in hand.
A part of each plate was divided as we took a brave stand -
to return to the table at once – and yet again, await the result
of this course – and then to her room, Julie did a quick 'bolt'
May finished the day in her same usual way
by playing the piano, 'so beautifully', all did say.
We drove her back to her small self-contained flat.
'A wonderful meal', as on one's arm she did pat.
That story did happen about twenty six years ago
and May must have been eighty years old, you know.
It does just goes to show us, of how healthy we could all be
If we eat well, including caterpillar served with fresh broccoli.
Now on the 24th of July 2006, May will have her 106th birthday!
She has kept her values and her grace, and the nurses will say
that May is still the real lady as always has been, and paint
her nails, brush her hair and a pretty dress – as that of a saint.
Colleen Wright. T.G. (c) 24.06.2006
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