on aunts

For my aunt who is my rock, my guide and my friend – and knows what this picture means…

Happy Birthday xxx

Aunts – Virginia Graham

Children, when you have gone your several ways,

And have sought the long day’s

Happiness, and the night’s elusive dream,

Incredible as it may seem

You will turn, at some moment, like thirsting plants

To your aunts.

Now, aunts are not glamorous creatures,

As very often their features

Tend to be elderly caricatures of your own.

Aunts use eau-de-cologne

And live in rather out-of-the-way places,

And wear pointed white shoes with laces

Tied in a neat bow.

Ooh I know, I know!

Nevertheless I maintain that when you are old enough to learn pain,

are acquainted with sorrow, and know what fear is,

your aunts will not seem nearly such drearies,

you’ll see,

believe me!

When you’ve broken off your engagement and want to hide,

you will go to Aunt Beatrice in Ambleside.

When the charwoman falls down dead,

Aunt Edith will give you a bed.

When your heart breaks, as hearts sometimes do,

Aunt Constance at Looe

will feed it on Cornish cream and philosophy,

soothe it with strawberries for tea;

and when, with the dew still behind your ears

you set forth to conquer wider spheres,

I do not think you will get much further the first night

than Aunt Maud in Shanklin, Isle of Wright.

Oh, yes, children, aunts are kind

and quite resigned

to the fact that you will not go near them for years,

and then bring them your tears.

Although at your tender age you resent their neglect of the Stage,

their inability to differentiate between jazz and swing,

and their poor reactions to Bing,

the day will dawn when they will rise up like rocks,

sheltering you with their long imprime  frocks

and cornflowered hats worn at such hopeless slants –

your nigh – forgotten, soon remembered aunts.


image by ManuelSagra

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