Grandmother Tales

 You be a good girl Find a good strong man Bare his 2.5 children manifesting his wealth Love is to be unbridled Not restricted nor restrained Love as if you’ve never been hurt Laugh long and remember deep For love is patient, love is kind It does not envy, it does not boast These things my grandmother told me Years of experience induced wisdom Pine needle stitched broom jumping ceremonies Patchwork quilted into Sunday cornbread passing Neckbone sucking Dressing stuffing Sweet Potato Pie Pot drippings Blessed across closed fingers and bowed heads Grandmother said that love wouldn’t be easy He might stay out late or even cheat Forget to love you the way he promised his soul would keep Bury his shortcomings in rolling stones from whisky drunk nights of infidelity Catching hell on the midnight train to Georgia Go out and marry you a military man Pray if he must cross foreign sands he returns with every bone and muscle still in tact Remember that most church men tell lies posed as facts Wait a minute, let’s take it back Grandmother said love would come courting removed hats Baring gifts of chocolate with corsages Love would sing the Song of Solomon while Kissing the Berlin Wall across my skin one brick at a time Would be giddy And happy Love would be gay And we would grow old together Celebrate 30 year anniversaries with traditional gifts Crying softly as we part with the kids In a house grown too big Distant memories filling every crevice Love was supposed to make single women jealous Move mountains and build bridges It was supposed to be stronger and deeper Higher and wiser Vowing lifetime commitment Grandmother said only death would do love apart It wouldn’t hit Nor hurt, belittle, disrespect or disgrace Love was supposed to drop me to choir practice on Saturdays Sing hymns on Sunday Work Monday through Friday Sneak midnight kisses Closed hands and crossed fingers Love would linger and savor me slowly Leave me never Love would love me forever These are the things my grandmother said to me But I have found that grandmothers lie too

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