Monday, May 14, 2012

Elsie Hawkins

Elsie was a little girl who happened to grow old.
Her pale blue eyes retained the same sparkle
they had when, back in her school-days in Wiltfordshire,
she would chase the boys over some feigned outrage
and, upon catching them, would kiss them until they turned crimson.

The wrinkles that now covered her face would pose a difficulty
to all but the most astute cartographer.
They had a tendency to become little overflowing river valleys
when, upon her hearing old Billy Cotton songs on the phonograph,
her eyes would release quiet tears over remembered joys.

When approached by her little great-grandchildren,
she would smile a summer’s worth of sunshine
and clasp each one around the face with her crooked hands.
Nearly singing she would say: “Oh Robert [or Sara or Peter or Caroline],
Granny Elsie loves you so so much!”

She would hug them each until they started to squirm
and then bequeath a peppermint a piece
before they all tumbled away laughing.
She would gaze off in their direction with a lingering smile
long after they had disappeared elsewhere in the house.

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