Lone Aunt Maude
A poem by Judith Waller Carroll

Lone Aunt Maude

Every Christmas
my mother got a card
from Logan, Kansas,
from the aunt she hadn’t seen
since she was a child.

A card with a winter scene
and a plain-spoken message
signed at the bottom:
Aunt Maude,

the v in Love sloping down like an n,
which my childish eyes
read as Lone Aunt Maude.

Even when I knew better,
I couldn’t shake the image
of a solitary gray-haired woman
signing her name year after year

to let her niece in Montana
know she was still in Kansas,
still alone, still the only aunt
my mother could call Maude.

About the Author:

Judith Waller Carroll’s poems have been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac, published in numerous journals and anthologies, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Ordinary Splendor (MoonPath Press 2022) and What You Saw and Still Remember, a runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Award. Her chapbook The Consolation of Roses, won the 2015 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Prize.

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