Aunts, Mothers and Iceboxes


Aunt Faye, 87 and still cantankerous,

Bought that General Electric icebox

In 1930, the year Lester was born.

@It runs in the corner

Of her early-'50s kitchen

Just off Route 273 in northern Maryland

Leading to Amish country.

Two years ago Faye chased off

Mattie and Talmadge when they arrived

with a new Whirlpool

On the back of the family truck.

"You won't put one of them

No good modern things

In my house," she said,

"As long as my icebox runs

And I can close this here door!"

Mattie shook her head and laughed

As she told that story.

I laughed, too, because had she lived,

Mother would be 85 . . .

Sudie's cast-off GE

That ran for five years in my kitchen

Still hums in the basement,

Held together by clasps that Dad bolted on

Twenty years ago.

That was long after a modern GE

And then a Whirlpool

Were hauled to the dump.

Our newest GE labors in the kitchen corner,

Sweating on a warm Mother's Day.

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