The Fan

By Phyllis Beebe

She took the fan, my Great Aunt Sue,
That I found in her handkerchief drawer,
Saying,"Girls don't know what to do
With a fan anymore.
What a pity."
And she unfurled it so it rippled
Forgetting her old hand, crippled
With arthritis.
Forgetting the handkie with Eau-de-Cologne
For her headache, she lay dreaming, alone
With her memories.
Flirting over the fan with snapping black eyes
Fluttering and twirling it, smiling at sighs
Breathed long ago in her girlish ear
By voices that now only she can hear.
Dear ancient, dreaming, Great-Aunt Sue
How I wish I could take a beautiful fan
In my awkward, unskilled modern hand
And flirt with my love the way you do.

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