Mama Home?

by Latorial Faison

I don’t want to lose sight of
the strong woman who was you
the pride you took in being hard working,
forever helping, not wasting a piece of food
anything homemade or handed down
how you kept a clean house
and ran a tight ship

how 4 o’clock felt like a new day
because you were home
talking to your inner circle about outer circles
cooking baked chicken, fried fish,
fruit cobbler or some other to-die-for dish
listening to you was like watching
Esther Rolle movie episodes, good times

like reading Hurston’s dialect-filled
oral histories, stories, and rhymes
you were a southern, female, blackness
that got real proper when strangers called
I hear you in new ringtones that ring like
old phones, in soft voices like your friend
Emma Lou’s asking, saying “Mama Home?”

I see you sitting there
half opened, half read Tidewater News
or Virginian Pilot in your tired hands
watching the 6 o’clock news
catching a nod or two
as 11 o’clock news watches you
in your favorite rocking chair

Copyrighted November 18, 2013 Latorial D. Faison