My Aunt Dot

This week’s Poetry Stretch is writing a pantoum. I love this form.   My 81-year-old aunt passed away on Monday.   Her husband was my father’s best man and best childhood friend.  They were aunt and uncle by the LOVE DNA.  Integral part of my childhood. 

My uncle  passed in 1995. Last summer, my aunt broke her hip and it was a struggle until the first day of March.   She’s joined her husband  and my parents and I imagine the jokes are flowing. 

I feel conflicted that I cannot hop a plane to New Jersey to be at her service.  This is where no amount of smart phones, internet, or our modern conveniences help.   But I can write and so here is a tribute to her.

Aunt Dot, Chuck and I, 2005

Aunt Dot

she was everyone’s  loving aunt
lived alone by an ever-rising river
loved baseball, the Mets and jokes
could always count on her laughter

lived alone by an ever-rising river
three thousand miles didn’t matter
could always count on her laughter
when the phone rang and it was her

three thousand miles didn’t matter
anticipated summer visits
when the phone rang and it was her
announcing plans for Disneyland

anticipated summer visits
drinking cokes
announcing plans for Disneyland
eating pork chops down to the marrow

drinking cokes
a joyful voice, “What’s else, hon’, what else?”
eating pork chops down to the marrow
catching up the family natterings

a joyful voice, “What’s else, hon’, what else?”
loved baseball, the Mets and jokes
catching up the family natterings
she was everyone’s  loving aunt

Thank you, Aunt Dot, thank you.

Read Write Poem has some terrific contributions about time.

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12 Responses to My Aunt Dot

  1. laurasalas says:

    Beautiful! I feel like I know your wonderful aunt. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Cindy says:

    Great poem. I loved the repetition – it creates movement and power. Wonderful.

  3. survivorscribe says:

    What strikes me with this elegy is the tone that you capture. I really get a sense of who she was and your relationship. It has a Rockwellian feel in all the right ways. I also love the rhythm. It’s a lovely tribute to your aunt.

  4. Tumblewords says:

    A superb tribute. You’ve used the form perfectly for this oh-so lovely piece!

  5. pamela says:

    This is just lovely! Such a nice and loving tribute to your aunt. Thanks for sharing.

    Pamela

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  7. I great a real sense of who this genuine woman was. Lovely tribute.

  8. Susan Boase says:

    Aww, Jone… such a sweet tribute. Loved the : “lived alone by an ever-rising river” line.
    Thank you for this.

  9. KmtKr says:

    In reading your words I felt wrapped in the warm embrace of a loving maternal hug…thank you

  10. A pantoum is a great form for this sort of tribute, and you’ve used it well. The repetition echoes the way we return again and again to certain key memories of those who have passed.

  11. derrick2 says:

    Yes, a lovely tribute which benefits from the pantoum style.

  12. Paul Oakley says:

    Thanks for sharing this warming tribute to your dear aunt.

    I like the way you’ve used repeated lines here. It strengthens the whole.

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