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Aunt Peter

by Jody Gladding

I thought she was married to the other
woman Pearl her voice boomed like her brother’s
he lived next door and her name was really
Mary like in the Bible none of this made sense
still it was true Aunt Peter took us to a pool
with a long drive there were signs Members Only
Violators Will Be Prosecuted I thought they meant
persecuted like Jesus hung on a cross behind
Aunt Peter’s rear view mirror the glass was
tinted if you looked up the clouds turned black
as thunder this was the valley of the shadow
of death and here we were violators.


Jody Gladding’s book of poems, Stone Crop, appeared in the Yale Younger Poets Series, 1993. Since then, new work has been published in The Paris Review, Grand Street, and Wilderness Magazine. She lives and works, translating French, in East Calais, Vermont. (1997)

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