NOT ABOUT MY AUNTS
I have been advised to write poems
About people I know, or,
Failing that, about myself.
Perhaps one on my aunts? I have many
And, mysteriously, new ones
Appear sometimes, old women
I’ve never met who still
Have known me all my life.
So, the next poem that came by
I looked at sharply, trying to see
If it might be about an aunt –
Aunt Sadie, if choice were mine
Who is short and sharp and witty
And walks gamely on crippled legs.
But the poem had a cold, mad eye
And was plainly about the Emperor Wang;
He and Sadie would never live well together
Nor Anne, nor Doris, nor Mabel,
And certainly not Rose or Jenny or the one
Who died young and her name with her.
(As for my Aunt Tamara – she
Is a Russian novel).