Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Aunt Jean

William Fraker


A striking beauty from Pensacola smiled.
The eyes to her heart sparkled with promise.
She married a naval pilot who fought
In WWII; moving the family around after the war –
Following her husband’s career, and infrequently
Visiting her husband’s home place in Virginia.

An educator who knew children as people,
She headed a summer camp where learning
Bunked with experience. Horseback riding
Centered the curriculum; a good ride,
A lesson in form and execution.

Canoeing and swimming brought the soul
Of the timid to the surface, where joy floated.
Acquaintance with potential life-long friends,
Quality and integrity, skipped like stones
Across the depths of Lake Erie. Cliffs hung
Over the rough beach near Cleveland.

In shadows cast on the pebble shore,
Exuberance filled an off key song.
Sparks cracked to the beat of early Motown,
Upwards and into a future where campers
Grew up, where Jean danced over the years
With her husband at every wedding they
Attended, and where Jean’s solo swaying
To the music of dance bands brought her
Peace in the midst of the storm her husband
And daughter knew as Alzheimer’s.

***

William Fraker has recently been published in The Witness (online magazine) and contributed two poems to Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology.

© William Fraker

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012