24 November 2007, 8:15 PM
Bernice Imogene Pope
during Great Vespers
I wonder if I’m being
irreverent, taking time during Great Vespers
to remember his coveralls, her cotton
dresses I so wish I could hold now,
take in a smell I’ve all but forgotten
since last I embraced their sound, their feel,
their willingness to stand in the south Texas heat
until they could no longer see
my parents, my siblings and me.
I’d give almost anything for one more
breakfast of sausages, biscuits, gravy,
pancakes and Brer Rabbit syrup,
and the cranberry juice that accompanied
every one of her meals. I recall with a smile
she was never dreadfully shy about why.
She had a picture garden in her den. I don’t know
who started it- perhaps the previous Matriarch,
Ma Walker- regardless, Grandmother taught me
without a word, and that’s saying a lot:
she did precious little in silence.
Her ring- the one given her by my Granddad-
was once marked as mine, an heirloom
handed down to me someday when she was gone.
I find I am reluctant to receive so precious a gift,
knowing she is now, in truth, gone.