My Elders on my mother side were very close kin.
Close enough for me to write this poem about them.
As a child we gathered for all types of occasions.
Aunt Bertha was the eldest, she would shush us to go away.
she’d shout, “go sit down yonder,” was her favorite phase.
Off my sister, Karen and I would go into the den.
We were waiting for that Sunday dinner with all the great recipes,
There was speckled butter beans, roast and a pie that made my eyes glow.
My grandma usually made a homemade coconut cake that was the talk of the town.
When those sister sang in the choir at Wadsworth, Church of God. Heaven came down.
I look at pictures of the family that I never seen before, I remember them talking about.
There grandma Nin.
I have one picture of grandma Nin, papa Wm Bryant’s mother.
She was born in 1855 form South Carolina, on into Mississippi, by covered wagon.
That’s where the first seven or eight children were born.
Now, that I am older. I am the elder and I gather with the elders.
We worship together and create our community’s haven.
We must affirm our heritage and edify our people.
We have come a long way, but have so far to grow and go.
That’s ok because instilled in me is a faith that I must follow.
Amira Baraka, bids us to come, men women, child.
The elders always sit in a special seat.
They gave permission for us to speak.
I understand the importance of carrying on our traditions.