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Friday, April 18, 2008

Aunt Margaret

Rating: 4.6
He always called her mummy
after they adopted the boys -
back in 1950 during the polio scare.
I still remember the whispered white faces
and stories of iron lungs

She used to polish their shoes -
every night before she went to bed
and lay them out neatly at the foot of their beds.

Her kitchen was a flurry of flour.
She measured the dough with a ruler
(So much easier to get them even)
Christmas cakes too,
wrapped in brown paper,
heavy with cherries and brandy.

Trained at the Alfred with mum
(She was a much better nurse than me)
mum said, though she didn’t mean it.

Worked with Benny Rank too,
in the plastics unit during the war.
Held many a young soldier’s hand
while Benny cut and sewed.

Hated talking about it afterwards.

When Rod died
she sort of shrank somehow
and her buck teeth stuck out even more.

Later her memory began to go
and the nursing home,
where she had reminded others
for so many years,
became her only reality.

The last time we saw her,
they were feeding her with a spoon.
We didn’t go again.

Peter rang earlier this year
to tell us she had died.
She was ninety six years old.
Alison Cassidy
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COMMENTS
Patrick A. Martin 16 October 2009
It's the storytellers like yourself that make the Aunt Margarets immortal and it sounds as if the very least she deserved is that immortallity. 10
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Ivor Hogg 03 May 2008
poignant writing Allison How sad it is to see a vibrant personality disintegrate
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Such a warm and detailed description of your beloved Aunt, she sounded quite a lady. And to live to that ripe old age, must be great genes indeed. Thanks for sharing. HG: -) xx
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Malini Kadir 29 April 2008
When it is a narrative and speaks so much......it is simply interesting
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Andrew Blakemore 27 April 2008
Another of your great narratives Alison. Wonderful story. Love Andrew
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David Desantis 25 April 2008
such a sad sad sad story! This was very poignant, even though it depressed me......i had an aunt margaret that practically raised me as a child, your aunt margaret sounded so much like her. What a great woman, sorry to hear about the loss. I also sense a real sadness for not having visited her more.
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Roger Cornish 24 April 2008
I Just love to sit an listen to Allie's stories told with consumate ease! Loved: 'When Rod died she sort of shrank somehow and her buck teeth stuck out even more.' Imagery on a stick! A big fat 10! Rx
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Hemakumar Nanayakkara 24 April 2008
A beautiful heartfelt poem. The story of this wondeful poem was filled with deep feelings, an amazing touching write.
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Raveendran . 23 April 2008
Herstory of service in intimate language evoking karuna rasa
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Mark Hogg 19 April 2008
Wow. I don't often stop by to comment on poem's on this site, but i felt i needed to here. You absolutely captured that story perfectly; detailed but concise. absolutely fantastic.
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