My aunt who is a scientist but behaves like a writer,
the one with stacks of books between her furniture;
aunt who is alone by choice with unopened boxes
all over her home; doctor-aunt, microbiologist aunt,
the one with cookbooks from around the world;
aunt like a redwood tree; the one whose tests have come
back fine but who needs a hearing aid; the aunt who rode
her bicycle across D.C., who visits farmer's markets
and Vietnamese restaurants, who hated working for the FDA;
Depression Era Aunt, War Time Aunt, woman who
raised a son and daughter, who is closer to her son than
to her daughter; aunt who strode from wedlock laughing;
favorite aunt, the one with a single sibling left, who has buried
a mother, two sisters and one brother, whose father
was not around; aunt as traveler, as speaker of many tongues;
the one who saves me the Times Book Reviews
and hands them over in a plastic bag; my aunt who would read
a praise poem that I wrote asked on Saturday if I'd write her obituary


  1. Oh, Renee...that last line is a slender dagger to my chest. I miss you.

  2. true beauty and sorrow that last line !!