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They say she whacked off her hair
And crammed on a hat,
Dressed like a man,
Cussed and chewed,
Married her hired hands
So she wouldn't have to pay 'em any wages,
Told 'em if they wanted smokes and booze
To get off their butts
And trap for cash.

When they left, fed up,
She just married another,
Outliving them all
Until she dropped dead
Of a heart attack
In front of the old wood range
While building biscuits.

Thirty years later
I still felt her presence
Coming down the stairs
Into the cold kitchen;
I'd light the lamp quickly
And save the single match
To fire up paper and kindling
Carefully set in the stove.

"Move over, Madge,"I'd whisper,
"Gonna have pancakes today."

At night her old homestead
House creaked and groaned,
Keeping company with the wild
Roar of the wide glacial river.
Every spring her crocus
And narcissus bloomed bright
Beneath the south-face windows.

So far from town, no one
Close enough to call or visit,
I found myself talking to her
When I was alone.

"Keep the fire goin' Madge,
I'm gonna shovel snow."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Posted: Oct 2010
About this poem:
Writing of a very independent grand aunt who taught me the values of inner strength and letting it carry me during the hard times.

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Comments (5)

What a great write! I could see her! Kudos! wine
Thank you! It's been said that I resemble her in spirit. tip hat
A grand aunt & great writing! (And after seeing "The Second Book of Job", I'd say you definitely have some of her spirit- amazing! hug )
Thank you, SCatlyn. hug True cowgirl grit and the blood of determined Irishmen and women combined with the Spanish and the Cherokee have blended to make my grand aunt and myself what is written about this day. tip hat
beautiful story once bring the vivid ness straight to the forefront..great poetry..thumbs up
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