Friday, April 20, 2007

Show of Hands

Okay, by a show of hands, who read the poem on The Writer's Almanac April 18?

Just what I thought.

You can put your hands down now -- so you can scroll down and read the fabulous poem Garrison Keillor read April 18 on The Writer's Almanac:


Aunt Duly is here wallpapering our kitchen.
She is seventy-one years old
but still paints silos and moves pianos.
If I bet her, she will touch her palms
to the floor without bending her knees.

When she first sees me, long hair and beard,
she comes down the ladder waving her brush:
"Judas Priest, Kev, when I was a girl,
they used to beat guys like you with chairs."

She has been going up and down this last hour
as if her ladder is an escalator,
telling me about drunken gravediggers
or the grocer who wouldn't serve lawyers.
I'm afraid she'll slip or faint,

but she is coming down the ladder,
telling me about Barney Ruckle in the back pew
quietly mocking each bead during the rosary:
"Gimme a nickel, Mary. Gimme a nickel, Mary.
Gimme a nickel ..."

Going up the ladder
because she really does have work to do,
she pauses halfway and says,
"You know, they're all dead now,
all those characters who used to make us laugh."

by Kevin FitzPatrick, from Down on the Corner.
© Midwest Villages and Voices.

What else have you read on The Writer's Almanac that you've enjoyed? Let me know!

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