Pieces of My Aunt, or My Aunt, in Pieces*

by Finny Deerfield

I fooled my aunt, the drunken rube
I fooled her with my Rubik's Cube™
one awful Christmas way back then
one holiday visit when I was ten
she gave us bribes to go away
for each side solved, a quarter she'd pay

I thought up my scam, and being resourceful
developed my plan without feeling remorseful.
and crawling behind the couch to hide,
peeled the stickers from each side.
It didn't seem wrong, or like much of a crime
just some sort of way to pass the time.

I brought her the puzzle, complete with false pride
and she sat there amazed, never thinking I'd lied.
''You're so smart!'' said she, and doled out a quarter,
and I went off with glee to further extort her.
it was all going well — I'd recovered 4 sides
but my father stepped in (to this day he denies)
he exposed my sin, and revoked my prize.

She watched the court scene without being puzzled
her glassy-eyed sheen from the whiskey she guzzled.
My aunt sat there staring with scotch glass in hand
cigarette burning, off in some other land.
(Her vacant gaze better than her drunken banter
shouted from over by the liquor decanter.)

We piled into the car and made our way home
and filed the memory away until one day — a poem.

*First prize, asinine poetry literary contest, fall 2002

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