Aunt Umbrella Bird (letter-a-week-u)

https://nopenotpam.com/2022/08/21/a-letter-a-week-u/

We’ve arrived at the Letter “U”!  Click the link for more info, and join in—it’s not too late!  I’m using the author’s wonderful drawing, and her 5 prompt words:  Umbrella Bird, unnerve, unadorned, uncomfortable, universe

Aunt Umbrella Bird

Was the only person in

The universe I felt safe with…

When I was 3, very shy, she’d

Visit…her first question was

“Who loves you?”

I’d pause, then: “Umm…brella”

Her legal name: Bella Bird, but

“Aunt Umbrella Bird” stuck…

She claimed I was her favorite niece

I’m her only niece, and was over

The moon about her—she was funny

Kind, plain-spoken, usually unadorned

Unless we were being wild & crazy—

Never uncomfortable acting silly

She said she was 16, just looked

Older…and shrugged as though it was

The gospel truth—

When I’d confess horrible things

She wasn’t unnerved…my

Confidante, she honored my feelings…

As I turned 14 and spilled my

Latest sin, she hugged me, said

“Everybody hates their parents

Sometimes—it’s normal!”

My folks split up, good thing…

I lived with “Aunt U-B” till I

Finished school…we had

The BEST times…I almost

Believed she really was a

Teenager—

~

“Let’s go for a walk,” she

Said one Saturday

“It’s raining,” I noted

“So? I’ll be your umbrella”

She owned a humongous

Purple-paisley one…when I

Glimpsed our reflection in a

Shop window, I thought we

Looked like the cover of a

Fabulous book! 

I exclaimed this, and she urged:

“Then, get busy writing that

Nobel Prize winner!”

She believed I could do anything

Because she held the same

Opinion about herself…and

After all, we shared the genes—

We walked to our preferred

Little bakery and sat at a small

Table with our chocolate eclairs

She said she had something

Important to tell me…

I was relishing the treat

Barely listening…till her

Words pierced me…

I set my pastry down, suddenly

Queasy—she took my hand

“Now listen to me…we are Not going

To stop living and having a blast

Just because I may be dying…

We’ve always been honest

And open together, ‘Bella Jr’…

~

Her announcement slammed hard

But she would deal with it

As though it was another

Shared adventure—

When she lost her hair, she

Managed to find a hat fashioned

Like a child-size umbrella

And perched it on her head

“How d’ya like it?  Perfect?!”

I had to laugh…anyone else would look

Ridiculous, she wore it with saucy aplomb—

I hadn’t realized she was fairly wealthy until

She informed me I didn’t need to work…

We’ll be too busy, she said:

I would write, she decided

She’d paint illustrations…

I had no clue for a story…she

Had faith my imagination waited

Only for my fingers to move

Over the keyboard—

~

That spectacular adventure

Lasted 4 months…I hadn’t known

She was an artistnor that there truly

Was a writer inside me…

Ever entertaining, she’d wear

Costumes each day, something to match

The umbrella hat, or clash garishly—

I cooked…until her appetite waned

Soon fatigue set in as well

The last thing she asked was

“Who loves you?”

Struggling, I answered

“Aunt Umbrella Bird”

“Don’t you forget it,” she

Whispered, and went to sleep.

~

Grief struck deep…she was

Everything to me…but before

Long I sensed she hadn’t gone…

Her BIG presence was palpable

In the house she’d left to me…

~

Her paintings were shipped with

My manuscript, to the publisher

Who’d mysteriously appeared…

We were a success, had been

Since I was born

Somedays

I wear her umbrella hat…☂

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

14 thoughts on “Aunt Umbrella Bird (letter-a-week-u)

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