At Mt. Carmel, an assisted living facility,

I visited my Aunt Norma today.

My heart was heavy and sad – I didn’t know

when I’d be back – I live two states away.

We sat outdoors in the warm May air.

As her Chihuahua sniffed around

in the grassy courtyard, I told Norma

how I valued those times,

thirty years ago, when I spent weekends

with her and Uncle Jay in Missouri.

Emotions tormented my throat but I tried

to hold my voice steady as I told her

how her creative energy had always

inspired me, how her encouragement

had kept a pen in my hand.

Blinking away tears,

I told her, honestly, that I

may not have been a writer –

if not for her.

Cheryl Unruh
May, 2016