Afro Poetry Times

A stitch in Thyme


AUNT Grace was nobody’s fool. Not even my awful cousin Victoria could pull the wool over her mom’s eyes. I only hoped Victoria would be on her best behaviour this evening for Grace’s 80th birthday.

I’d been invited to dinner. There’d be awkward moments. Grace’s will was becoming a regular topic of conversati­on. It was as though she knew she didn’t have much time left and wanted to make sure everything was sorted out. The phone rang. “Can you pick up some things for me?” Victoria asked, using her business voice. “I’m running late and haven’t had time to buy dinner ingredient­s.” And she reeled off a dozen items. Fresh duck, oranges, cognac, sorbet, Swiss chocolates . . . We were certainly in for a treat.

I was pleased she was finally making an effort for her mom. Victoria was an only child and had been spoilt. Like her mother she was strong-willed, but unlike Grace, Victoria used this strength selfishly. She focused on her career, relying on me to do things she ought to have been happy to do herself for her mother. Like grocery shopping. Half an hour later I drove up to my aunt’s cottage on the edge of town.

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