A Letter from Aunt Vinnie
Sister Martha, at ninety-three,
shocks her with curses, croaking
so loud she wishes it time
to set out on the ice floe.
She polishes her Mama's stemware,
each glass so clear Vinnie shivers
in her bones at nothing
but the touch.
She is building her nest,
would prefer that you
not drop in. She has placed
orange tiger lilies,
tang grass to catch the light,
left open space under
the trail of O'Keeffe's road.
There are two old wooden chairs,
a small tea table, a china pot,
handle turned out,
two cups, bone white,
a slim green bottle of Perrier.
Some day, she says, you might be welcome.
But for today: there is this place,
wild ivy tumbling from a planter overhead,
the cool room, splashed with wild flowers;
and only an occasional scream
from Sister Martha
in the distant bed.