Make it Red, Orchids, A Poem

Influences - A Memory

Carson McCullers is passing by
She lived in a boarding house down the street
Every day she walked to buy some kerosene
For her lamps.
She carried it home in a glass bottle.

Carson McCullers is passing by
My aunt ran to the upstairs window and peered out from behind the curtain
To watch the woman walking by
It is Carson McCullers she’s a writer
I knew by her hushed voice that was important
She puts words on paper and people read them
She is a writer

Carson McCullers is passing by
My aunt was a reader
She loved words - learn a new word everyday
She paid me 25 cents if I would write something
Anything - no matter how bad
Be a writer she said

Carson McCullers is passing by
My aunt loved words
She penciled in the boxes on crossword puzzles
She never wrote stories
Except in long amusing letters typed on onion skin paper

Carson McCullers is passing by
My aunt was an expert at talking
A walk to the Big Star for bread became an epic on her tongue
I listened as she made everything sound amazing
Oh, yes, my aunt could talk

Carson McCullers is passing by
When I was grown up I ate lunch at a new restaurant
In a house where Carson McCullers once lived
I remembered my aunt peering around the curtain
In awe of writers she never wrote
She spoke her stories

I hope she knows I am a storyteller
And talk stories like she did.

e. schoettler 2009


Granny Sue said...

Nice, Ellouise. Very evocative of the reverence your aunt felt, and of the importance placed on a writer. And passed on to you, the storyteller.

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