My aunt laughs a whole lot,
And half the time it is glad.

A reluctant chuckle at a silly joke,
A grin cracked at her sheepish child,
Laughter that shakes her frame
Dissolving into giggles and breathless gasps.

My aunt laughs a great deal,
And only half the time is it glad.

A self-effacing smile attends her silly little opinion
Which goes out dressed like a sillier, littler joke.
(These are important matters, and she wouldn’t know.)
Prefaced appropriately by one of those softening grins,
The sharp edges of her rage have to be smoothened to a nicety
And the whole thing is so hilarious
That she then joins in, in their laughing away of her,
Dissolving into embarrassment and studied silence.

My aunt ‘laughs’ a great deal,
But she laughs a whole lot less,
And certainly,
Not half as much as my uncle does.

Written by Swathi Gangadharan
Image by Stuti Pachisia


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