essays by Shé

Dancing Aunties

In Love on July 12, 2022 at 10:35 am

Peach, green, blue: aunt, aunt, niece. They sit around the dining room table heads down and focused: crossword, sudoku, school-work. I gaze at them from the kitchen, quiet — they are flowers. I revel in their presence until one of them looks up. “Hey!” their smiles feed me. A song comes on the niece’s laptop, and suddenly I am dancing. “Turn it up.” I hold a hand out to one auntie, then the other. “I can’t dance,” tries the younger, but I am deaf to her pleas and move the chairs away.

The older auntie has moves! She is a cool cat; hips and shoulders swaying, she partner dances with her sister. The niece is laughing, flinging her arms and bopping to the beat. We sing, do the bump, vogue, Fosse. Grief and joy bubble up and out, flung wide by angled arms.

Peach, green, blue shirts whirl around the floor. I’m a black-eyed Susan, both niece and auntie, replete.

The nieces on the way to pick blackberries, July 2022, photo by Aunt Joan
The nieces on the way to pick blackberries, July 2022, photo by Aunt Joan

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