My Aunt Patty
An old bear stuffed in a cardboard box
that my mother can’t bring herself to get rid of.
She’s trying to block the ache of something missing.
Her mind clenched around memories of you
playing with the chickens in the yard,
writing illegible scribbles on a chalkboard,
of the sound of your laughter.
How different would it be now,
if fever and the bright red constellations
of measles hadn’t taken you away.