march is women's history month, but i like to celebrate it as inspiration women month by highlighting the women who inspire me. here is a poem about my great grandmother.
Dear Grandma Sudie
She had cheeks as dark brown as tree trunks.
See the years of courage weaved like the grain of tobacco leaves between her fingertips.
These same lips fed me spoonfuls of truth, thick and hot like stone ground grits.
She knew the blood of Jesus for its pardon and its power,
Called on his name in a way book knowledge cannot teach.
Siphon the wisdom in her silver strands and I could take sips of womanhood everyday,
Learn a love that follows the curve of her hips and longs to lay beside the man of her dreams for the rest of her life.
I believe in dreams with shoes under pillows.
I believe in your legend.
You were lean, graceful, quiet but knowing,
Strong in the silent enduring sense of the word.
If you were here today, I would kiss you on your cheek,
Ask you if you needed anything
Bring you cool glasses of water
Silence my busy mind and listen to you.
I would sit at your feet and write your life story on my hand so I could retell it to me after you were gone.
Hum you a hymn you taught to me until you went to sleep
Fine-tooth comb your gently pressed hair, scratch your scalp and line it with white rose.
Ask you to teach me the recipe for collard greens, chicken pastry, chitlins, parenting, 60-year love, love of God.
I would follow your recipe by the ounce until I made it my own.