As a cold Christmas
Eve takes shape above Portland
we will be lucky

to see any stars
at all. Sixty years ago,
a thin blue letter

(rice paper?) would ar-
rive from the mysterious
East: my Aunt Mina!

On the shallow ledge
outside her snowy window
her sidekick squirrel

checks in as she adds
to the bibliography
on women religious.

Single, spare, funny,
she taught the women of Mt.
Holyoke. I thanked

her in lavender
ink for the subscription to
a small magazine,

Poetry. It was
all too much. Thanks to her I
trust in good verses.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

2 thoughts on “Thanks”

  1. Beautiful! Reading this was like getting a Christmas card from another era, a happier time. Love the squirrel. He really brings out your aunt in a way that makes the reader want to know her better.


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