No winds of the times in which we live can compare with the speed of death.

My late father’s pretty sister died two days before Barack Obama’s grandmother passed away. Though my life and the world around me seems full of new people, travel, and big issues in the lives of relatives, her death stops me in gratitude and sorrow. 

She sped as Petals from a Rose — 

Offended by the Wind — 

A frail Aristocrat of Time

Indemnity to find — 

Leaving on Nature a Default

As Cricket, or as Bee,

But Andes — in the Bosoms where

She had begun to lie.

At the age of 95, “A frail Aristocrat of Time”, she still had a voice that was full and strong. This poem by Emily Dickinson helps me find my voice as I remember the aunt I loved.

When a toddler, my critical powers were on high alert the first time her loud opinions and wishes filled our house. Until then, my ears were fairly untested by the soft-spoken personalities of both my parents.

As the years went by her forceful qualities promised “Indemnity” against hurt, loss or damage. I felt she was very like her mother and my grandmother, and I craved to be around them both. Now, her “Leaving (is) on Nature a Default”. As children do, I took her for granted as I would have the “Cricket, or as Bee,”.

The tempo of events in my life has picked up in the past year because of a combination of welcome, as well as dreaded, changes. The child in me regards my Aunt Prudie as leaving for the “Andes”, a high place which fits her strengths. I know she is “in the Bosoms where/She had begun to lie” when she loved me and her other family.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way