August 24, 2006

The Lady of Orange

I have always loved The Lady of Orange,
the aunt whose only continuity
(other than the ever-present
tangerine tint on her lips and nails)
is her inconsistency.

As unpredictable and effective
as Death's whim, her moods--
raucous, raunchy, tender,
somber, playful, and vile--
shift and strike unannounced.

Husbands and lovers,
grudges and favors,
wives' tales and truths--
she collects and discards
with equal abandon.

Like a nomad (claiming gypsy blood),
fleeing landlords and boredom,
she uproots her small clan
to move from house to house--
and sometimes back again.

She fabricates creepy tales
of witches, vampires,
demons and ghosts--
not to terrify family or friends,
but to bluff reality's intimidations.

Years ago, as a teenager
in her domain, I was liberated--
free to smoke or drink
and even rendevous with lovers,
often men of her acquaintance.

More recently, during a dark moment's reverie,
she asked me if I blamed her for my problems.
Surprised, I answered quite honestly--no.
I still wonder why she claimed the guilt.
I have always loved The Lady of Orange.

2 comments:

Cherie! said...

Lovely. Now I want to write about my Aunt.

E said...

I so want to say a few things but I am scared you might go "No!".