Death of My Old Maid Aunt

My great-aunt warned me about men
in theater seats when I was ten,
and always in a house or car
to notice where the exits are,
to carry bus fare in my purse
and watch for Peeping Toms or worse.
But now I have no heart to laugh
at morbid fears on my behalf.
Those once keen-sighted eyes are sealed
that watched me to the playing field,
and heavy weights are on the tongue
that cautioned me when I was young.
No dangers now surround the bed
where aunt lays down her fearless head;
in Gothic garments she lies dumb,
where neither thieves nor lovers come.

Gail White is the author of The Accidental Cynic (a winner of the Anita Dorn Memorial Award for Poetry), and Easy Marks (a nominee for the Poets Prize). She has recent work in First Things, Able Muse, and Evansville Review. She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana with her husband and cats.