The Aunts

By Joyce Sutphen b. 1949 Joyce Sutphen
I like it when they get together
and talk in voices that sound
like apple trees and grape vines,

and some of them wear hats
and go to Arizona in the winter,
and they all like to play cards.

They will always be the ones
who say “It is time to go now,”
even as we linger at the door,

or stand by the waiting cars, they
remember someone—an uncle we
never knew—and sigh, all

of them together, like wind
in the oak trees behind the farm
where they grew up—a place

I remember—especially
the hen house and the soft
clucking that filled the sunlit yard.

Poem copyright ©2010 by Joyce Sutphen from her most recent book of poetry, First Words, Red Dragonfly Press, 2010. Poem reprinted by permission of Joyce Sutphen and the publisher.

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Poet Joyce Sutphen b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Growing Old, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

 Joyce  Sutphen

Biography

Joyce Sutphen grew up on a farm in Minnesota. She earned a PhD in Renaissance drama from the University of Minnesota, and has taught British literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. Her first collection of poems, Straight Out of View (1995), won the Barnard Women’s Poets Prize. Subsequent collections include Coming Back to the Body (2000), a Minnesota Book Award finalist, Naming the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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