Ode to Aunt Elsie

DSC01304I look at the walls of your town house where you lived for more than forty years and died after your hundredth birthday just as you predicted you would. I’m looking at your walls, family photographs of children and grandchildren, obligatory framed pictures of you and your husband from a marriage you endured; paintings of mountains and houses—a range of browns, beige, rust, sand, every color of earth—from rugs to bedspreads; I remember how you dressed with such good taste in expensive clothing, your body measurements recorded and checked off on a piece of paper in your bathroom. Paintings by your friends, a Marc Chagall hanging in the living room; a cabinet filled with dolls from around the world, symbolic of your internationalism and frugalness; Rosh Hashanah cards in stacks that you didn’t use printed by the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism for a fund-raiser you may have organized, a menorah hanging next to a Mexican yarn doll with green serape, piles of National Geographic’s, books on art from Italy, cover designs for Vanity Fair magazine, art works made by family members sitting on ledges and shelves including a raku pencil holder with feet and eyes I gave to you so many years ago, dried stalks of lavender in your kitchen together with five containers of cinnamon, glass jars of beans, whole wheat macaroni, rancid sunflower seeds; you kept track of every baby announcement, birth day, bar and bat mitzvah, logged dates in a book; pictures of my own children, collections of ribbon, thread, buttons, keys, marbles, girdle snaps, scissors, a couch facing two stained glass windows like sitting in a synagogue (with you), praying.

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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One Response to Ode to Aunt Elsie

  1. Theresa Cotton says:

    Love it Lenore – Quite touching and reminded me of one of my Aunts.
    please email me if you have time I have a question for you about writing.

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