The red braids
“I got mad and cut them off!” says my Tante,
of her long, red braids, when she was twelve.
“I wanted a bob.”
I beg them of her,
the two wrapped in paper in a drawer.
I catch my breath as she unfolds them,
for the girl is there, in the hair.
A deep earthy russet splashed with gold.
Impetuous, full of laughter, scary with power,
she laughs at me from across the decades.
Had her sister braided them that day? They are uneven,
one tight and small, the other open and loose,
done on a day, 1924, when there was too much to do,
too big a world
to bother with these golden treasures
that hung carelessly forgotten down her back,
color of amber,
as though her brilliance, her thought shone
through their luster.
“I always feel sixteen,” says my Tante,
and she is there then, and here today.
August 5, 2004
I have written much about my aunt Elsie, who with great wisdom and foresight, introduced me to poetry at a very young age. And here she is today, having turned one hundred years old on September 25, 2013! Her memory is vivid and she is still totally involved in life.
Born in Germany and immigrating to the US in 1923, she to this day has a large repertoire of poems and songs in English and German which she recites from memory.
Thank you for all you have given us, dear Tante Elsie!
|Elsie at her 100th Birthday|
Listen to Annelinde reading "The red braids" from my CD and DVD, "The Abundance of Mary," available by clicking at the top of this page on the "BUY" tab.