Eulogy for Aunt Jane

a poem by Philip E. Hodgman, USA


Aunt Jane, we applaud you
at the end of a life lived on
your own terms.

When earthly love failed you
again and again
You gave your life to Christ,
the ultimate bet, gambling
on the posthumous reward
of eternal bliss.

You became a hermit of sorts,
moving to the heart of New Mexico,
a stark land of sharp cactus and
low taxes.

You scratched and scraped your
pennies over the years until
you became known for your
eccentric wealth.

You were a traveler, Aunt Jane,
taking us, your nephews and nieces,
on long trips across the southwest,
but always returning at night to sleep
in your own bed.

You’d argue with waiters over
nickels and dimes but gave
most of your money away
some to your family, the rest
to save pagan babies.

We loved you, Aunt Jane, not
because we understood you,
but because, like the North Star,
you were a fixed point we knew
would always be there.

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