Photo Challenge #23 “Lunchbox” – Dear Aunt


Image: Angela Elliot

Uncle Max was proud of the photo

He called it ‘The Lunchbox of Treasures.’

Innocence captured in three poses.

What happened to your childhood?

Was it him who bulldozed you

Into rebellion?


The shame of hidden children.

The box of treasures more akin to Pandora

Your girly virtue replaced by unprecedented belligerence.

Persecution became your default

Alienation from family

Wandering the world

A law unto yourself.

In time you returned

Lived in isolation

Bitter, angry, resentful.

My father had a soft spot for you

Went to visit.

Unpleasant was what he called you.

This photo is all that remains of your childhood.

I placed it on your coffin

In your final days I did visit

A frail aged shell of a woman

No anger no aggression

Difficult when you are hooked to a machine.

I sat with you

Your visitor’s book virginal.

I rubbed your wrinkled hand

Felt your grip as you held mine

In your eyes I saw your fear

Each day as you hung on to a life

Long gone, forgotten, but you remembered.

Fearful of questions in the next life?

I held you in those moments

There were no words

Our eyes met, messages passed

You found love again Dear Aunt

With your lunchbox of treasures

You came home.


Written for:

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12 Responses to Photo Challenge #23 “Lunchbox” – Dear Aunt

  1. Michael, that is so beautiful, you got me teary reading this.

  2. JackieP says:

    What I got out of this is; don’t be an angry, bitter, disappointed person in life, because it sucks when at the end of it, you almost have no one, and a whole lot of regrets. A person shouldn’t wait till the end of life to begin living it. It was well done Michael.

  3. Oh wow I agree with Jenny this is truly exceptional, a tortured character portrait

  4. RoSy says:

    A bittersweet story.

  5. Pat says:

    Well written, as the flow of the lines, and breaks really contribute to the word choices and evoke the feelings of a life – lived – but lost – and perhaps, not lived “well and truly” without remorse or regret.

    Powerful and moving – and the sensitivity of someone reaching out – offering peace and compassion, in the end – lovely choice of words.

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