Aunt Gladys

I’ve talked about Mama and Daddy, but you haven’t met my Aunt Gladys yet. Her visits were a lifeline for me during those lonely years on Pungo Creek

Her visits were short. She usually arrived late on a Friday night and left before dark on Sunday.  I tried stay awake for her arrival. Sometimes I could but I usually fell asleep on the sofa and awoke to the sound of Mama and Aunt Gladys laughing and talking together in the kitchen. Mama missed Aunt Gladys too.  On Saturday mornings we had a big breakfast with cut-up eggs, ham, biscuits, red-eye gravy and quince preserves.  In the evening I would sit in the kitchen and listen to Mama and Aunt Gladys talking and laughing. She would trim my bangs. I would breath in the Aunt Gladys smells as she leaned over me. There was Evening in Paris perfume. Max Factor pancake makeup. Hairspray. Coffee. Wrigley’s spearmint chewing gum.  Aunt Gladys slept in my bed and I slept on the sofa. Her smell lingered on my sheets long after I stood in the middle of the dirt road and watched the back on Aunt Gladys’ Studebacker disappear in the dust.

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5 Comments

Filed under Poetry

5 responses to “Aunt Gladys

  1. What a great memory to have of Aunt Gladys, I bet she led a fascinating life! I love all the tastes & smells in this piece Brenda. Yes short, but yet a bounty for the senses ….

    ~lily

    • brendamantz

      Yes. She continues to have an interesting life at nearly 90. And she will live. In my novel PUNGO CREEK – she is Aunt Pearl. Brenda

  2. Looking forward to getting to know Aunt Pearl a little better. Is your novel published, or yet to be?
    ~lily

  3. Patricia Compton Mishler

    OMG – I just can’t believe the similarities (so far) in our lives and how much alike we write and express ourselves. Your writing makes me want to start again. It’s been a long time and I’ve been shut down on that front – but you are slowly spurring me on. Thanks for the ‘memory’ / the ‘photographs’, the coffee and wrigley spearmint gum. So similar it’s uncanny. Your Aunt Gladys was my Aunt Grace. Chantilly perfume and gray curly hear and nails that shined with polish. The smell of roast beef and apple pie on a Sunday afternoon for dinner. Geez- the memories, make me melancholy. Only because I miss them – not that they were bad. Thanks Brenda! Keep writing

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