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Aunt Aggie by Lynn White

Auntie Aggie

It was a beautiful seventeenth century farmhouse

in a picture postcard English village,

the family home of Liz

who would drop me off there

on our way back home from college.

I would pick up the bus for the last fifteen miles.

That night was my first overnight stay.

Liz lived with her parents and granny

and inside it was as olde worlde as out

with creaky floor boards and beamed ceilings.

It was Saturday and her parents were out

so we played our music loud.

Granny was said to be a little deaf

and she didn’t complain about the music.

I could hear her as she crossed the room above

to open a drawer or cupboard and then return

to her favourite chair in the corner

but there was no angry banging on the floor,

just frequent sorties back and forth,

her footsteps sprightly and unremarkable.

I didn’t mention her to Liz,

it felt rude, somehow.

At about eleven we heard a car draw up

and turned our music down.

Liz’s parents came in

followed by Granny.

Confused, I asked about the footsteps above

and they all laughed.

“That’s Auntie Aggie,” said Liz,

“She lived here when the house was first built.

She always walks when someone new visits.

She likes to introduce herself.

She’ll stop now you’ve acknowledged her.”

And she did!


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