I only have two aunts, but they are both special members of the family. This poem, by Joyce Sutphen of
captures for me the warm, loving feelings the word “aunt” brings to mind.
I like it when they get together
and talk in voices that sound
like apple trees and grape vines,
and some of them wear hats
and go to
in the winter,
and they all like to play cards.
They will always be the ones
who say “It is time to go now,”
even as we linger at the door,
or stand by the waiting cars, they
remember someone—an uncle we
never knew—and sigh, all
of them together, like wind
in the oak trees behind the farm
where they grew up—a place
the hen house and the soft
clucking that filled the sunlit yard.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the
University of Nebraska Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Joyce Sutphen from
her most recent book of poetry, “First Words,” Red Dragonfly Press, 2010. Poem reprinted by permission of Joyce Sutphen
and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2011 by The Poetry Foundation.