This Too Shall Pass


I’ve been looking at some of my old work and found a piece that spoke to me. I’m surprised I hadn’t shared it here yet.

This Too Shall Pass

First you snap it at the top,
Pull it back and allow it to tear down the middle
Take your thumb and run it along the inside from top to bottom and they’ll fall out one by one
Clack, clack, clack, clack, clack
The sound of my great grand mother teaching me to shuck peas in the summer
Alabama heat met with fly squatters and ceiling fans
Georgia red dirt and ice tea brewing on the porch
Now thangs ain’t gon always be dis way and sho as the sun come, you must learn to change but that too… shall pass
Mudeah we called her
Smooth as buttermilk biscuits, smoked hammocks, and collard greens
Seemed like she held secret recipes on her finger tips
Weaving peach cobbler and jam stored through the winter
She loved us through food
Taught us life lessons through cooking
Don’t turn the stove on the caramel too high because the heat will burn the sugar
Translation
Some things in life you must wait for, allow it to happen naturally
Don’t run in the kitchen when the cake is baking because it’ll turn upside down
Translation
You have the ability to ruin what you’ve created by simple mistakes
Don’t use too much rum in the German chocolate cake
Well that just means she didn’t want us to get drunk
She never spent a night out drinking
Didn’t know the feel of smoke going into her lungs
Cigarettes were not lady like she would say
So the diagnosis took us all by surprise
It wasn’t just a cough but cancer
Lining her insides and causing the pain she felt in her sleep
Treated with radiation, mixed with chemotherapy, lots of pills, doctors visits
Relatives popping in and calling to express their concerns
She simply said,
But baby, this too shall pass
And it did…
That winter she allowed me to rub pomade on her scalp to keep her bald head from getting cold
She refused to cover herself in hats or wigs
After all beauty is only skin deep
And that too shall pass
Then like a spring flower the hair began to rise from the surface slow at first
Soft as silk and white as cotton
And by summer she was back in the kitchen
My cousins and I took adventures into ditches to bring back fresh blackberries for pies
She turned kool aid into frozen treats
Cooked grits every morning and made pancakes her specialty
Yet it was as if she knew because the cooking and lessons begun to come more regularly
Does the flower not bloom simply because it perishes soon
If you don’t live your dreams then who do you expect to accomplish them for you
Anything worth having is worth fighting for
Love as if you’ve never been hurt
Give as if you have more left
Hug more often
Be kind to the heartless because ignorance can’t help itself
She knew before we began to hear the moans from her room in the middle of the night
Before the treatments began again
Before the months she was given left to live
She knew that she too would pass
But not before teaching us to remember to touch more often
Call more often
Cherish today
Each minute
That
Breath
You just took
Is a moment to be savored
So closed your eyes
Relax your shoulders
Lean back your head and remember
This too.. shall pass

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One thought on “This Too Shall Pass

  1. Mudeah we called her
    Smooth as buttermilk biscuits, smoked hammocks, and collard greens
    Seemed like she held secret recipes on her finger tips
    Weaving peach cobbler and jam stored through the winter
    She loved us through food
    Taught us life lessons through cooking [….]

    I called her “Grandmom.” She was my heart. And like your “Mudeah” my grandmom had “the gift” of cooking also. She could take a little of this and a little of that and Good. Lawd. Turn it into a meal fit for Kings and Queens. And that’s exactly how she made you feel through her cooking. As if you were royalty.

    Born and raised in Georgia, she (and her older sister) brought their *Southern ways* with them when they migrated to the North East as young adult women. but I digress.

    My grandmother would use almost every opportunity, while we ate, to teach us life lessons. Many of those lessons are still with me and have served me well.

    I loved her dearly and will cherish her memory as long as I live.

    Nykieria, thank you, again, for sharing your gift.

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