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Auntie Vi

She was the flower of the neighborhood

young, petal-fresh, capricious yet serene

skirts billowing in the breeze yet demure

she was a violet, a giggle fluttering by


Cyril, the elder brother, suit pressed, necktie jazzy

caught her in his net of charm and after

a brief engagement, took her for his wife

and drove her away in his 1930 white sporty motor car


Les, his younger brother waved them off, choking back regret

as down through the years he visited on holidays

met them at family get-togethers, exchanging polite

restrained hello-goodbyes – how are the children doing?


Never divulging for a careless moment the jealousy

that burgeoned in his heart, the flower he’d wished

in youthful fantasy somehow to make his own


Years passed – the brothers moved to different cities

almost lost contact. Cyril prospered, became a self made

businessman, put on weight and raised a bevy of

daughters, all as beautiful as their mother


Then calamity struck. One beautiful summer Sunday

just before  the family’s usual sumptuous lunch

Cyril dropped dead on the tennis court – an ischemic stroke

the doctor said and comforted – a quick and easy way to go


Les’ second wife was next to pass away

and after the traditional year of mourning he realized at 65

his teenage dream when widower and widow met

renewed their friendship and then moved in together


There in Violet’s small apartment we would find them

after their simple supper, chatting about this and that

she with her knitting for the grandchildren, he with

his crossword puzzle or his notebook full of scribblings


After turning out the lights they retired to separate

bedrooms, which as his son, I thought it strange

yet never dared to question – the memory of the

elder brother still occupying his rightful place in her heart


A few short months then passed quite peacefully

and then one Sunday morning – 6 a.m. a phone call

Aunty Vi was on the line – please come, your father’s

passed away, Johannes found him when he brought his morning tea


A heart attack, the doctor said – perhaps it’s better that way –

and having wept for both brothers, Violet went on to live into

her nineties, a fading flower yet still probably the most

attractive nonagenarian in the flower beds of the town

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© Johnmichael Simon



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