Aunt

By Al Young b. 1939 Al Young
She talks too loud, her face
a blur of wrinkles & sunshine
where her hard hair shivers
from laughter like a pine tree
stiff with oil & hotcombing
 
O & her anger realer than gasoline
slung into fire or lighted mohair
She’s a clothes lover from way back
but her body’s too big to be chic
or on cue so she wear what she want
People just gotta stand back &
take it like they do Easter Sunday when
the rainbow she travels is dry-cleaned
 
She laughs more than ever in spring
stomping the downtowns, Saturday past
work, looking into JC Penney’s checking
out Sears & bragging about how when she
feel like it she gon lose weight &
give up smoking one of these sorry days
 
Her eyes are diamonds of pure dark space
& the air flying out of them as you look
close is only the essence of living
to tell, a full-length woman, an aunt
brown & red with stalking the years

Al Young, "Aunt" from The Blues Don’t Change. Copyright © 1982 by Al Young.  Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: The Blues Don’t Change (Louisiana State University Press, 1982)

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Poet Al Young b. 1939

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Al  Young

Biography

Poet, novelist, and professor Al Young was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He attended the University of Michigan before moving to the San Francisco Bay area, where he earned a BA in Spanish from the University of California-Berkeley. Young often reads to musical accompaniment, and his poetry reflects his interest in music, specifically jazz and blues, as well as his life in California. His collections of poetry are . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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