Today I opened the napowrimo.net prompt page and read about poetry online journals (something Maureen is doing this year), the two poems from yesterday’s prompt she selected to highlight, and the day twelve prompt, which said to write a poem about something small.
I Wear the Ring
Aunt Lorry (we called Delores, Mom’s sister, that) loved me
more than I realized. When I was very young,
she’d send envelopes addressed to me,
from Washington D.C. with Dennis the Menace
cartoons cut from her newspaper.
I didn’t see the connection then. But I do now. It was the only mail
I received from an adult when not my birthday or Christmas.
When I graduated from Texas A&M University Lorry insisted
on paying for my class ring. Aggie rings are a big deal
to alumni (called former students). I still wear the ring—
more than fifty years later. I remember Lorry every time.
She never married, was old fashioned, traditional, and a staunch
Catholic. She wasn’t difficult (usually) but criticized
what she thought was wrongdoing.
Yet she was hopeful to the edge of naiveite.
Had she been any different, I suppose I’d still have my ring,
but I would not have had a famous cartoon character
as my childhood alter ego.
Lorry died about ten years after I graduated and whenever
I wear the ring I’m reminded of her.
I will be until the day I die. Such a small thing but a big
reminder of my old maid aunt, my childhood, love, and
how ironic it is when things turn out differently than expected.
Look both ways and remember familial days.
Mind gaps that may bring surprising results.