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Great Aunt Therza


She was always ancient to me,
 Great Aunt with a heart of gold:
through the eyes of a child
I suppose everybody is old.
Arthritic body so twisted, her
walk more a controlled`lurch
yet every Sunday she hobbled
a mile or more to church.

Probably in constant pain yet
 never heard to moan or whine:
 those laughing dark eyes
would look solemnly into mine
as she gravely listened
to my childish prattle
the school yard pranks
my silly tittle tattle.

Always reassuring,
full of care,
fulfilling  a role by
just being there.
She looks at me now
from an old photo I found
young, strong, well formed
limbs straight and sound.

Only those eyes, that smile
making me realise it was her
young and proud
just standing there.
It was quite a while before
i put that photo away
as memories flowed back
from my childhood days.

It's filed with those others
from my family's past
that panorama of faces
that made up the cast
of that loving group
that showed me their care
making me happy and secure
just by their being there.

My grandchildren see me,
I suppose, just as I saw her
another ancient being
sitting in his chair.
as I smile and listen
because life is so good
with so many memories
from my happy childhood.
She lurches through my mind
on that church Sunday mile
body twisted and pained yet
still carrying that smile.







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