Playing the Indian Card

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Ed Sullivan with Topo Gigio

Spent her long and quiet maidenhood
Folding small bits of paper.
As you spoke to her
Or in the blueness of Ed Sullivan
She would fold and fold again
Until the paper grew so small the last fold
Required a fingernail.

Mother remembered her sister as pretty in youth.
There had been a Young Man once;
And he had written often
From the War;
But he had stopped writing before Hiroshima.
Perhaps, Mother said, Aunt-Estelle-Who-Never-Married
Was folding secret letters to him
Without knowing what to say
Or where to send them.

Aunt-Estelle-Who-Never-Married died.
We cleaned her room.
We found drawers full, desks full, closets full
Of little folded papers.
We sprinkled them like confetti on her casket
As they lowered her.
Then we turned back to life
And thought little of Aunt Estelle
Whose name was Who-Never-Married.

-- Stephen K. Roney

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