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.