Phoenix Law #1: Where I Come From
I come from Grandma’s
New Year’s Eve Rice ‘n’ Peas,
stiff charismatic hair bangs
God-mommies who can sang, Baby.
-Where I Come From
My grandparents (on my mother’s side) made a potent impact on me. They both had attributes I desired to have. I have adapted a few of them unintentionally. Yes, I have placed them on a pedestal, but a humanized pedestal. They were vibrant, outgoing sharp, upfront and were fashionable.
My Grandpa was the first victim of my snack thieving antics and he was very attentive to the things I was akin to. He told my mother, when I was about four or five years old, that I like autumn leaves and writing. He always had a story, and I was always listening. I used to imitate his hand gestures and dramatic pauses in the mirror when I was little. The way he told his stories, with widened eyes and various tones, sucked me right on in. My grandpa is the reason I aspire to be a great storyteller and why I aim to tell a story through my poems. He passed away over twenty years ago. However, I still miss him as though his funeral was this afternoon and I’m just now peeling off my black pantyhose. When I was a baby, I’d faithfully slide my diaper booty down the stairs; wobble into the kitchen to meet him and his morning plate of grits. I’d open my mouth wide and bold, waiting for him to feed me a few spoons of grits and poultry (he always had some kind of poultry mixed with his grits. Bacon, fish, chicken or etc.: I was eating it, ya’ll).
Annie York, my late grandmother was special. She was strong, fussy, sassy, funny, a great storyteller and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She was a straight shooter with a giving heart. I can still hear her morning coffee sips and her cackles. People would stop by her home consistently to say hello or to check up on her.
My Quintessence, Phoenixes Groomed as Genesis Doves and Long Live Phoenixes has a bit of her essence in it. ‘Til this day I spew out her signature phrases or reminisce on her rice “n” peas. She supported every event I had and attended every graduation. I still mourn her death and wish she could to meet the new amazing people in my life. I wish she was around for all three of my poetry collections. Nonetheless, when it’s your time to leave this earth- it’s time.
I’m not too sure if my mother has admitted yet, but she is definitely like her Mama!
As I continue to learn, love and grow, my Grandma is always in the back of my mind. I know for damn sure she had the strength and a fiery personality like a phoenix. She soared high like a phoenix during her dark seasons and knew when to shed from anything toxic. She knew about molting season. Her name is in black in white in my poetry. Her legacy lives on. My Grandpa’s legacy lives on.
Long Live Impactful Matriarchs and Patriarchs!
Enjoy your own copy of my third poetry collection, Long Live Phoenixes!