For Aunt Alma

When we were kids, a grimy, noisy load of brats, in Jaffrey, bounding toward Pill Hill, the dust kicked up like smoke on Gilman Road, our grampas driving, Uncles Dick or Bill: each child would strain to be the first to see Monadnock through Von Stade's rocky field where Patsy grazed. Beyond the donkey's tree the mountain loomed. ``I saw it first!'' we squealed. Remember that? And later in the peace of early afternoon the grandmothers -- Aunts Alma, Verna -- names as soft as fleece, would somehow knit us silent. Sisters, brothers, We sat beside them, and upon their laps, and fell, to everyone's relief, to ruly naps.

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