About Agnes, by Karen S. Elliott


About Agnes

by Karen S. Elliott

Inspired by Aunt Agnes R. Holmes, “Ang,” my second mother

It was not prudent to divorce her husband

Because he wouldn’t give up his seat on the bus.

But she did divorce him.

With no regrets.

It was not lady-like to slide down the banister

In the Hotel DuPont ballroom.

But she did it in a gold lamé gown.

And she didn’t look back.

It was not feminine to bowl with a 12-pound ball

But she did it.

And did it fiercely.

And she didn’t regret.

The neighbors thought her nuts

When she rented a pony for my little-girl birthday.

But she did it anyway.

With no regrets.

It was not common to get a mortgage

As a single woman in the 50s.

But she got it and raised our family.

And she never looked back.

It was not sensible to speak out or disagree

with her corporate boss.

But she did it, successfully.

And she didn’t back down.



Filed under Prose & Poetry, Special Events

21 responses to “About Agnes, by Karen S. Elliott

  1. You posted this the moment I logged into Facebook and I thought of coming over to take a look.
    Wonderful sentiments to a truly remarkable woman. You are lucky to have been her niece.
    I like the way you have written the poem. There’s force and beauty in the words that express the life of this woman. “With no regrets” that’s how everyone should live.

  2. Agnes is my kind of woman. Wonderful.

  3. Such powerful life lessons in these few words about a woman we should all emulate and whose actions were all the more courageous for the times in which they were enacted. Thank you for sharing “Ang” with us. I see her best traits in her spunky niece.

    • karenselliott

      I am actually much more like Ang than I am my mother, personality and stature. But I could never have bowled with a 12 pounder! Ouch.

  4. Karoline Stock

    What a wonderful tribute to your aunt. I enjoyed reading it and it reminded me of my Aunt Agnes. I didn’t get to know her, but my Mom talked of her often and my middle name is Agnes.

    • karenselliott

      Actually, Mom was about to name me Agnes and Ang said, “Don’t you dare” Apparently, in the telling of this story, Ang said she always hated her name. The “Ang” came from me as a small child, couldn’t say “Aunt Agnes” so Ang it was. And it stuck with her the rest of her life.

  5. Jessica Messinger

    Love, love, love this!

  6. Esther

    VERY well done, Karen. You paint a wonderful word picture of your aunt. The aunt I’ve written about several times was just as strong a woman, albeit more quiet. We’re lucky to have had such role models.

    • karenselliott

      Ang was not frequently quiet. Even her laugh could be heard several yards away. I love a good hearty laugh!

  7. What a wonderful role model. You come from some very strong women in your family. Enjoyed your poem a lot.

    • karenselliott

      Thank you, Patricia. Yes, I had extremely fine female role models. I was fortunate. Though I didn’t always stick up for myself in my younger years, I’ve gotten better at it. Ang taught me that.

  8. Pinned your poem on my Strong People Pinterest Page. Your Agnes reminded me of my Aunt Dot. http://pinterest.com/pin/147141112798191354/

  9. YES – you wrote the poem like the woman, strong, no-nonsense, intelligent, abrupt, and fun. Boy, I enjoyed this. Great job!

  10. Audrey Keith

    Your Aunt Agnes sounds wonderful–everyone should have an aunt like her!

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