Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great Aunts

down the basement steps
the smell of potluck
there they sat
with their beers
and cigarettes
the darkness of her hair
jet black
and nostrils
so dark and deep
beneath a curved nose
perhaps we were descended
from witches, gypsies
a secret Jewish sect
the dark Irish
this we knew for certain
her eyes pierced me
as if I had done something wrong
as if I had committed
the most heinous act
in all the world
just for being born
I was afraid she was a witch
and would cast a terrible spell
upon me
I could not help but revel
in the mysteriousness
of it all
they looked like no one
I had ever seen before
such a contrast to my grandfather
whose hair was black too
but was soft, funny, and loving
and so different from
my grandmothers sister
who too was smoking
and drinking beers
and cackling as she laughed
sitting on men's laps
with red lipstick
and smiles
will my hair turn jet black
as I get older
will I become the mysterious
witch, gypsy
dark Irish
with nostrils
so deep
and foreboding
my profile
the only evidence
of their nose


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