I am reconsidering the story of my aunt
born thirteen years after my mom.
She was a lovechild, my gram had said,
and also that she was not wanted.
It dawned on me the way dreams and words
sometimes simmer that she may not have
been Grandad’s child. That Gram, for all
her control over everything, everyone
had lost control like some teenage girl.
She told Grandad he had rolled over
in the middle of the night, got on her,
fell back to sleep. He didn’t know if
that might not be true. What I know
is my aunt always tried to fit, that she often
wore a moo-moo, no bra, would lean
down to talk to me, beautiful white breasts
with pink nipples she may have wanted
me to touch and I did but didn’t. That
if she was not her father’s child, she was
not that much of an aunt to me.
I have the .22 six-shooter she kept
by her bed at night in case she’d have
to “shoot any preacher coming after me
in the night.” Later, I’d visit her in the nursing
home. She’d ask accusingly, “You still have my gun?”
and fall asleep as I wondered if she was
dreaming Gram’s memory.