Four Poems

by Cheryl Boyce Taylor

Saints Singing Pretty: Pork Browning in Butter
In memory of Susie Jackson 87

They say in summer limes are sweeter
sliced and doused  in a jar of blush wine

white rose petals,  strawberries
tart and prickly pears

at church blue haired ladies with wrist gloves
clutch their handbags too tight

breath of Jesus on their lips
summer breeze makes Christians  happy

imagine a stone kitchen
stout magnolia tree outside its window

lush smells of green hair pomade gleaming
one cup hot oil bubbling on the stove

at church, service is long
wooden fans swirl lazy round and round

saute’ garlic and onions in butter, one jalapeno
pepper  add grilled beef   wrap in banana leaves

peel green plantains, slice diagonally
fry plantains in hot oil turn once

hear the saints singing pretty
nodding side by side  summer breeze make saints happy

prayers waltzing off the scattered
pauses of their last breath

Miss Susie’s perfume a mixture of baby powder
and blue geraniums that morning when we kissed her

her prayer stool  smooth redwood
draped in shawl of olive green

stained glass windows
with their retinas shining

at home in the stone kitchen
we brown the pork in garlic butter

salt and pepper  chopped onions carrots
zucchini  birthday dinner must be fine for Miss Susie

after church she will serve hugs to everybody
we will dish out that meal and belt Stevie Wonder’s version

outside her stone kitchen
a darkening afternoon breeze

kisses her face
stout magnolia tree waving in wind.

Note: The Charleston terrorist killed mostly black women.

 

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