Southern Fried Love, a poem

Crispy magic fried chicken

fresh collard greens

red beans and cornbread

sliced garden tomatoes

a chunk of yellow onion.

No one else can make it right

five years ago a hole was left in the world.

Grandma could make a silk purse

out of a sow’s ear.

Remnants from her job

sewing in a slack factory; dresses.

Aloe Vera for my burns

lemon juice to lighten my hair,

home remedies.

A strange red conglomeration 

she mopped on my sore throat.

A secret salve rubbed on my chest

feeding my cold

starving my fever.

On a farm in Palmer,
Texas,

her boys picked cotton.

Grandma sewed for neighbors.

Only one cow for milk

butter bartered for eggs

couldn’t afford chickens.

Grandpa,

worthless as tits on a boar hog.

Took the cow to town

sold it to buy liquor.

Grandma went to town and bought it back.

He died drunk behind the wheel.

She never remarried,

had bad taste in men.

A trait passed down to me.

But I raised two boys in our small
Texas town,

With no support from their father,

working two jobs to make ends meet.

Our house, a sanctuary

for mistreated waifs,

their friends and mine.

But a southern

gentleman,                                                                                                                                                 

hair spun with gold,

sweet ocean eyes,

came bearing gifts for no reason.

Calling on his lunch hour

to say he loves me.

He chops cilantro,

fresh garlic,

saut├ęs in olive oil,

browns boneless magic chicken breast,

covers it with garden sliced tomatoes,

Monterrey Jack cheese;

and bakes.

Grandma,

at her haunted sewing machine,

red beans simmering

on her heavenly stove,

just in from picking fresh tomatoes

from her spiritual garden,

made a life size image,

a blue print sewn with golden threads,

stamped with spirits approval.

Shipped on the wings of angels,

To me.