My Aunt Joan

Aunt JoanMy mother’s youngest sister,
My aunt Joan, was glamourous.
She wore red lipstick and high heels
And her hair rolled in a sausage.
She had a handsome boyfriend
Who was a sailor
And became my uncle John.
She worked in a big department store downtown
Where she used a typewriter and
An adding machine
And had to go home on
The El
With all the other grown-ups of Chicago.

She brought me books and candy from the store
And taught me funny songs.
Oh I wish I was a fishy in the brook, brook, brook.
I wish I was a fishy in the brook.
Id go swimming in the nudie
Without my bathing suit-ie
Oh I wish I was a fishy in the brook.

She knitted sweaters for my dolls,
Pants and socks,
And little hats with pompoms on the top.
Each time she came to visit,
I begged her to teach me how to knit
And each time she would,
Moving my grubby fingers up and down the needles
To make the stitches tighter or looser or
Not so crooked.
Each time she left, I forgot what to do
And each time she came,
I would beg her to teach me again.
And each time she would.

My aunt Joan taught me about
Patience and
Persistence and
Possibilities.
I thought she was the best aunt in the world
And wished I had many more
Just like her
And not so many
Uncles
Who don’t know how to
Knit.

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