Requiem for Aunt May

11 June, 2010

A calm sign in the trees of May: she’s dead,
not like this dirge staining the air, her name
recited in the camphor-house where the chalk
figurine, that haberdashery sphinx, reclines,
riddled by the TV. There no one faces the calendar,
river-stone talks go under the bridge of condolences,
and land on the old sofa’s shoulder. I, her water-child,
keep watch over her laminated Saviour, nailed
into the wall, flipping a coin whose head promises
Daedalus. Someone pries open an album, the cocoon
postcards wail on the line, pronouncing, Aunt May –

baker, builder of the yellow stone house, your children
hatched wings while your face was bent in the oven.
The mixing bowls, the wooden spoons, the plastic
bride & groom, knew before the phone alarmed
the night your passing. So you passed, in a floral dress,
a shawl softly tied to your head, the house spring-cleaned.

— Ishion Hutchinson

Published in Town issue 4, June 2010. Download the PDF broadside here.

See notes on contributors to this issue here.