Monday, August 08, 2016

How Aunt Maggie Got So Bright



author's note:

"What if this is as good as it gets?"
        -- from the movie As Good as It Gets


HOW AUNT MAGGIE GOT SO BRIGHT

I have a theory
about why Aunt Maggie
(in life, the grumbling one)
seemed so deeply peaceful
when you saw her late that night:

when we are released
from life's foggy grip
we can grab hold
of what held us
and finally fully see
that blind life--
examine it at arm's length
so to speak.

With that perspective
I think our aunt might arrive
at the question
I sometimes ask myself
when I’m able to stop
long enough
to look back
with some degree of clarity:

why why why
did I shrink myself
down so small?--
why did I grumble
whenever the cookie crumbled?--

after all, I knew quite well
that every day in some way
the cookie would crumble.


I believe that question
would lead dear Maggie
to an understanding
she'd avoided while living:

she would see the true pain behind
all her grousing and grumbling
and in seeing
feel a piercing empathy
for the person she once was--

an empathy she'd then naturally extend
to anyone voicing small complaint--
she would now see how
they fear to touch
the real wound...

yes, that would explain
the tenderness she emanated
when you saw her in the dark--

that would explain
why Aunt Maggie shines
so much brighter
than she did during the labor
of her sweet and sour life.



© 2016, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul: a poetry book

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