Grandma Knows Life

Grandma Knows Life

Edited by Sarah Roderick

Grandma sing
Gospel
Contralto low
rasp
Mahalia take
my hand high c crescendo
               “her vibrato quickens”—
flip pork-chops
in lard
feet fixed to
white-ish,
brown floor tile 
of home
 

Grandma sang
to church
Etta James mid
-timbre
crocodile shoes hit 
carpet floors,
hands raised,
cloche hats to
ceiling, cloche
hats all colors
               “church rocking”
Black church local star
local star Black
star used col- 
   ored bathrooms.
 

Grandma crafted blankets
blanket factory artisan
at 15
hands work spool,
work spool day
Monday... Tuesday…
Wednesday...Thursday... 
Friday...
keep fingers at spool
keep penny checks

Grandma married
No Greater Love 
Billie brown -skinned 
lady
wed local worker,
local mill worker, Portier
             “dark-‘skinded’.
built home, both
built home, both
built family 

 
Grandma preached
Gospel. 
Gospel:
              “Black folk know
                life, life
                we know immaterial!”
lady work spool
til 56
now 76
collect penny checks


Grandma sing 
Gospel.
                “Sing? 
                 lady sang!”
Sunday. Monday.
Tuesday. Wednesday.
Thursday. Friday.
Saturday.
 
Grandma sang:
                     earth, no. home with
                     Lord, my Jesus.