Hour 2: Eating Clouds

Aunt Yvonne charged down Cox Street

carrying her sorcerer’s bag —

filled with spell books and fairy dust —

like a sword

to battle the demons who threatened our safe kingdom.

Aunt Yvonne — proud pastry chef at

“one of the finest white restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi”

where colored people entered through the kitchen

and stayed there.


From that kitchen, Aunt Yvonne conjured

the lightest biscuits in town.

“Feathers!” some exclaimed.

“Clouds!!” they rhapsodized.

No white person who ate Aunt Yvonne’s cooking

ever choked on quills

or saw her tears flow like rain.


She returned to us each night

with her bag full of treasure

for two little girls who had fought sleep

to greet their “Aunty Vonne”

who had braved the nether world to fight for us.

She always brought us her softest clouds to eat.

She had taken care to season them herself

so we would not have to swallow our own tears.


She charmed the pale ogres

masked as helpless elders

She deceived the white dragons

disguised as courtly ladies and gentlemen.

So they mistook her for a plain and harmless colored girl

wearing the uniform of subservience.

Seduced by her smile,

they never pierced her armor

nor realized she fed them slow poison

of bitterness and pain

inside their featherlight bread.


And they never knew she took back the best of her magic

to feed us divine dreams.

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