Judith R. Robinson

Maiden Aunt Escapes

1

She of gentle home-bound feet
-not by clay but cloth-
recasts black & white & technicolor
threads into
the exotic wildland of dreams:
star-strung
galaxies to fly through

whole and to return,
skimming waterways, fabled
granite cities—le Seine, Paris
in the Twenties, the famous 1939
at Hollywood & Vine.


2

Bits of Lillian’s sadness:
only her own hands
to soothe peach-scented cream
on thinning skin; the left hand
that trembles, the skin brown
& dotted as an owl’s wing.

A photograph kept under starched sheets,
Clark Gable, his dazzling, crooked smile,
hidden from the sight of sister Ruth;

and next to Clark rests Lillian
in sepia, at eighteen, looking dreamy,
up and away from the camera, ready
to begin the life that never comes.


3

Only fantasy is treasure, the careful
gift she never shares, but unlocks
in the great darkness
so as not to grieve too long,
to welcome the deeper sleep that comes.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 3, 2010

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird



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