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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