Poet's Notes: Someone (I think I read somewhere) said, “Anyone who has lived at least seven years on this earth has enough material to write about for the rest of his life.” (see Editor's Note) Especially when we are young, we are in possession of what we now call “fresh eyes,” an unsullied perspective which opens us literally to “see” what others cannot.
My Auntie Doe-Doe fascinated me because she was so unlike the rest of us. As a kid, I detected a smoldering resentment emanating from my mom’s side of the family each time Doe-Doe entered the room. Doe-Doe smiled and laughed a lot; the rest of us did not. Doe-Doe hugged and smooched us on the cheek; the rest of us flinched if even by accident we grazed flesh against flesh.
Doe-Doe, I now realize, was my first love, though I dared not show how much I enjoyed her because she was taboo, an outsider, not of our blood. That’s the story I was told . . . the message relayed with frowns of disapproval . . . but with “fresh eyes” I saw through that story. What I saw was that Doe-Doe made the rest of us look like a pack of sour-faced Puritans.
As I have aged, I more and more relish quiet space and time to re-examine my childhood. I chuckle inside when I think about Auntie Doe-Doe. I saw who she was, who she truly was, and I admired her. That’s the wisdom of a child.
Editor's Note: It was Flannery O'Connor who said, "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose, 1970) https://www.literaryladiesguide.com/author-quotes/wise-quotes-by-flannery-oconnor/
"Auntie Doe-Doe" first appeared in Earth-blood & Star-shine.