Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Letter from a Cold Aunt

by Linda Umans

Can’t say I’m comfortable writing this.
Pressure from Marjorie it was
to tell the truth. She said, You’re dying, damn it.

++When we were comparing nieces, she was always envious.
++Yours comes to see you from New York, and mine
++can’t even manage once in a while from Pittsburgh.
++She always liked you.

I was never good with illness. When you got sick
well…I wouldn’t have helped much anyway. That’s
a fact, a dying declaration as they might say in those
tedious police shows you were so fond of.

So here it is, at the top. I’ve given this a title.
A gift to you. The gift of acknowledgment. You’ll see
later on in life, Linny. Not a small thing.

Marjorie will probably ask you if you want anything.
Take the Audubon bird guide. It’s the best of the lot.