Excerpts >Summer 2006

Susan Donnelly

My Young Aunts Have Lunch with Cary Grant

Looking exactly as he always looks,
except for the open-necked shirt,
Grant pauses in mid-spoonful
of iced fruit cocktail in silver dish
to ask Priscilla a question.
Her beautiful profile looks exactly,
or almost, the same today.
The year is 1947. She is twenty,
wears a gardenia in her dark hair.
The businessman beside her,
with the natty breastpocket handkerchief,
has probably arranged all this.
A client of my grandfather?
Behind them, at duller tables,
everyone’s watching the photographer,
or the back of the movie star’s head.
Anne Marie, my younger aunt, disappears
at the photograph’s edge. That’s all right.
In about three days she’ll have her own
Western adventure: getting clawed
on the arm when she offers a sandwich
to a grizzly in Yellowstone Park.

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