Driving Great Aunt Maisie
The Thursday before Good Friday;
a snarl-up at Staples Corner.
There was me, Great Aunt Maisie,
and my two pre-school brats.
We’d already done ‘I-Spy’ to death –
were on the fifth rendition of,
‘There Was an Old Woman
Who Swallowed a Fly’,
when she says,
“Stroke of luck – this traffic jam.
Selfish of me, of course,
but with time on my hands –
your Uncle Jack gone and all,
days meander, one into the other.
If you catch my drift?”
Driving her back home,
after two long weeks at ours,
I’d been counting down the minutes.
“Yes indeed, Aunt. I know what you mean.”
I didn’t. How could I?
A traffic-jam, hardly my idea of heaven;
admittedly though, Great Aunt Maisie was always
ever so slightly mad.
To be frank, how I envied what she had.
The quiet life was what I longed for;
one where I was free to come and go –
to please myself at my leisure.
Twenty years later, travelling that road alone,
only then did I understand.