I consider myself very fortunate to have had a musical childhood, nothing fantastic ever happened and to this day, I have never been to Disneyland. I wobbled between and around the knees of my great great grandmother, my great grandmother, my grandmother (my favorite because she always had a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other and blues in the background), and my mother.
I was even blond as a child: the milkman’s baby. My mother was told to sit me out in the sun to brown’un me up, but the rebel she is, my mother refused, bucking up to the entire neighborhood’s hen den, “My baby ain’t no damn piece of meat! You must be a fool!” She was only 17, but fierce.
To this day watermelon is my favorite fruit. The yellow ones, the orange ones, the red ones, doesn’t matter to me as long as they are sweet and full of juices. Here, my face is all melon as my cousin looks on. We were on our way to Crockett, Texas to see my great great grandmother. At rest stops, we unloaded baskets and tin coolers of food, lots of food: summer sausage, crackers and cheese, catfish, sandwiches, potato salad, fried chicken, fresh homemade breads, pecan pies, banana pudding with vanilla wafers, roast beef, green beans, and of course homemade teacakes. We swam in tanned colored lakes, not beaches. And we marveled over the height and pungent smell of pines aligning the country roads. We craw fished in creeks and played jacks or marbles. My grandmothers dressed me in ribbons and ruffles, even to go to the grocery store or for short visits. We caught light bugs in jars and sometimes bees…lit on honeysuckle. And still today, when you drive through Texas there are incredible explosions and explosions of wisteria. This time was a savoring moment for me and a fine foreshadow for the rest of my life. I was very privileged.
And though my grandmother is my favorite grand, I cannot cease writing about my great grandmother; that's her to my right. I was always in her armpit.
It's May 2012 and nothing has changed since November.11. I am all smiles at my relationship and myself. My honey and I continue to amaze each other on a daily basis. We're still ever so 'in' with each other. I completed my MA in literature last May and I'm teaching four college English courses to really smart students. I am hopeful to enter a doctorate program soon. This way, I can run out.All is scary good.
upon hearing your voice life again expands like moon crest like pomegranates swell to the sun and you are patient because god calls
when he came for you this morning you were bent into the flower bed singing black hymns so he left you alone until this third afternoon but even then he found you elbow deep in jewel weed with a mouthful of figs from a nearby tree again he waited because each time seemed to him an inconvenience and a wrong moment
and it was your persistent humming that drove him up and back until he could get his timing perfect he waited another day or so until
your gardening tools rest into porch corners your paring knife shines deeply into a drawer your hair comb lies slanted in a shoebox your wedding band hides in the mattress your fishing rod stays stolen
the sound of your voice desires to sing or hum but this time is perfect he has covered you like lavender-colored silence but he has also added streaks of olive green and pink because this is what the other soul-folk has told him to do and he has become tired in the process and therefore begins to rush sonances of your body he finds you the least complex when you are not outdoors digging in that garden, humming hymns and thriving and for a moment he questions his own timing its perfection and everything goes accordingly until he finds you have buried fruit peels and wandering jew petals underneath your back this does not anger him but it tilts his agility to deliver you and in his own questioning and presence of smells that he cannot privilege all this over powers his choice all this reels his otherwise perfection into letting you go
when i see you sitting in the plush squares of limitless St. Augustine your eyes are lit like crystal warmed soil releases from each of your hands
how did i get to this point this point of knowing you for you are nearly a century old