Alison Cassidy

Rookie (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

Aunt Margaret - Poem by Alison Cassidy

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.

Comments about Aunt Margaret by Alison Cassidy

  • (10/16/2009 7:13:00 AM)

    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 (Report) Reply

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  • (5/3/2008 5:29:00 AM)

    poignant writing Allison How sad it is to see a vibrant personality disintegrate (Report) Reply

  • (5/1/2008 8:24:00 AM)

    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 (Report) Reply

  • Malini Kadir (4/29/2008 3:03:00 AM)

    When it is a narrative and speaks so is simply interesting (Report) Reply

  • Andrew Blakemore (4/27/2008 6:17:00 PM)

    Another of your great narratives Alison. Wonderful story. Love Andrew (Report) Reply

  • (4/25/2008 1:12:00 PM)

    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. (Report) Reply

  • (4/24/2008 12:22:00 PM)

    I Just love to sit an listen to Allie's stories told with consumate ease!

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

    Imagery on a stick!
    A big fat 10!
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/24/2008 6:02:00 AM)

    A beautiful heartfelt poem. The story of this wondeful poem was filled with deep feelings, an amazing touching write. (Report) Reply

  • (4/23/2008 12:15:00 PM)

    Herstory of service in intimate language evoking karuna rasa (Report) Reply

  • (4/19/2008 5:03:00 PM)

    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. (Report) Reply

  • (4/19/2008 7:44:00 AM)

    An incredibly poignant vignette penned with honesty and bring those you know and love to life and it is the little details that make your work stand out. You observe not only with a keen eye but with an open heart...simply superb...this one really struck a chord with me. jxx (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2008 6:57:00 PM)

    Nice writing! Aunt Margaret was very real to me. (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (4/18/2008 5:06:00 PM)

    The Albert's brought back a lot of memories for you Allie, hasn't it. Wonderful ones to put into poetry for us all to peruse. Lovely poignant piece about characters from way back.
    Love to Jerry.
    Love and hugs Ernestine XXX
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2008 12:44:00 PM)

    This is very moving Alison, I don't know why exactly but the part that touched me most

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

    Just really pulling at the heartstrings that someone should care and so much
    Thankyou for sharing this personal piece

    Love duncan X
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2008 8:43:00 AM)

    Allie, a very touching account of a life very close. Poignant, caring and loving as you always write. Your feelings come though in every line which makes it enjoyable to read, even though it is sad at times. Top marks and thanks for sharing Aunt Margaret's life with us my friend.
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2008 3:14:00 AM)

    A graphic touching and affectionate account about an aunt who had seen and experienced a lot of the world. Sadly this reflects the reality of life - one starts out with a lot of energy, zest and enthusiasm not knowing what the end will be like. Slowly but surely the strain and stress of sickness, death in the family etc etc etc takes it toll and the colour of life begis to drain causing attitudinal changes.

    The last line reads like a key which is turned inside a lock never to be reopened.

    Take care... Leonard
    (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (4/18/2008 3:09:00 AM)

    I had an Aunt Margaret....and it sounds as if yours(or these boy's) & mine were somehow connected more than just 'on a 1st name basis'! ....As usual, a tell-tale to tickle the chambers of the Heart! One of your best, in fact i do do think, lass! Then, again, i 'll probably be telling you this again, as early as 'yir next post....but only 'cuz it'll be th' truth!

    ~ FjR ~
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 18, 2008

Poem Edited: Saturday, May 31, 2008

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