My darling Auntie Nellie,
You of the flashing eye, the dirty diamonds,
The pink frilly fullbosomed blouses,
The gold filled front tooth,
The radiant, everliving, everloving smile!
You of the blondedyed dark root frizzed head,
The flapper skirt bare knees, Charleston dancing eyes.
You were so “wrong for the children!” But, oh, so very right.
As we sucked on forbidden sweets
In the smoke dark of the frowned on Music Hall,
Sopping up the low comics, soaking innuendo,
Goggling, gawping at the kickup leg show;
And you, Auntie Nellie, singing along
With every single song; loud, quavery, offkey,
And loving every minute of it! We too!
Then on to café treats in the Palmcourt warm of winterday.
And you smoked your scented fags,
And you winked at the patent leather headed men
Gigaloing and weaving through the tea filled glitter,
The waxy pungency of the fiddle song afternoon.
The we went home on the sea swaying tram
To the frowsy, blowsy, firewarm kitchen of your awful house.
There the dust motes danced gold in the setting glare,
And you sipped your gin, while we children gambled at cards
For pennies and cakes, till the heavenly day, with you, ended.