Being More Like Lee

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For my Aunt Lee, who recently took her final flight, and left us all the better for having known her.

Waking to the jarring crunch
of ice in the blender
the startling edge of sound
not even slightly muffled
by the bananas and protein powder
whirling into the mix
my Aunt Lee has made us breakfast
served neatly and without fuss
in a glass
all we could nutritionally need
to fuel us for a productive day of learning

She stands in our small kitchen
in place of my mother
who is on a vacation
from the sharp and deep Minnesota snow
and from her four sleepy children
Lee
in her black turtleneck
and black pants
helping us on with our mittens and boots
patting our shoulders
as we shuffle out the door in the morning dark

Rather than tell
Aunt Lee showed me
what any girl can do
by riding her horses
and leaving bad relationships
flying small planes
moving into a very modest size boat
in a Ft. Lauderdale marina with her son
becoming captain of a yacht
that she chartered out of the Bahamas
not renovating the condo she purchased
from a former 60s star
leaving the flocked wallpaper and round bed
the ashtrays dangling from macramé holders
crashing her airplane in the ocean
and standing atop its submerged wings
patiently waiting for a rescue boat
then leaving the surface of the earth again
as soon as possible
buying a house in France
flying a restored WWII fighter plane on a movie set
sitting on the deck of a boat in Chub Cay
pushing a plate of lobster my way
urging me again
to try something new
not fear
the unfamiliar
embrace it

April 19, 2013
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo #19

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