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Hers was the fifth or sixth pew from the front of the altar, just right of center. 


Her left and right feet tapped ever so slightly out of time as the music stirred her soul 

With a poise and purpose ever so steadily perched underneath a purple bounty, she sat: 

Ready to receive the word. 


And she was good.  


See, she knew that the fifth or sixth pew from the front of the altar just right of center 

was perfectly placed to keep a teen’s wandering worries at bay. 

To keep a black boy’s body close.

To keep this black boy’s body well within the span of her great wings where she would anticipate his dozing long before he heard even the slightest whisper of fatigue. 


And she was good. 


See there was not a single game played when it came to church. 

Sit up straight, tuck in that shirt, boy and I better not catch you fallin asleep. 

And there was not a tip-toeing snooze in the House that escaped her watchful gaze. 

She could have one eye on the Lord, another on the pastor, and whole nother eye left over to catch me slippin, every single time. 


And she was good.


And the simple truth of it is she is, on today and each day, my joy. 


So nowadays

when they ask me how i’m doin

my answer is as honest as she always was. 


when they ask me how i’m doin, nowadays, 

my smile boasts of all her beauty. except with only half her dimples and double the lips. 


nowadays when they ask me how i’m doin

the melody of my response rings out unafraid in the sweet soprano of her singin soul. 


when they ask me, nowadays, how i’m doin

my mind settles gently on today and today alone; tomorrow we know is not ours to worry over anyway. 


because they ask me, nowadays, oh, how you doin and really care to hear my response, i have to look deep within myself for the truth. 


our shared truth declares the peace that is ours and not for the taking. in this truth we share a mutual delight.  She and I both. I have missed her and I miss her still, my dearest Grandma. 

hers, mine & ours

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