Granny Carrie is my great grandmother who died at 98 and I had the privilege of knowing her and hearing her stories. I would stay with her when I was sick and we would take walks to Kentucky Fried Chicken and play with the white dolls that the people she use to work for let her have. When she passed I found her wallet in a pile of her discarded wallet. It was made by the family she worked for. Seeing her handwriting every time I open this wallet reminds me of where I came from and how my family worked against all odds to make sure that we learned how to survive, make ends meet, hustle our asses off.
Here’s to you Granny Carrie. Thank you for me.
1.Carries head hangs.
Always has. She once tried to glance up and was drowned by blue oceans.
“Know your place.”
Down with yes’m.
Beat down with yes’m.
Blue oceans flooding famined lands over watered, over ripe, rotten.
Ashamed, her head hangs.
2. Carries legs are weak.
They were grabbed and spread.
hands grabbed her
hate held her
chains beat her.
Her legs still bleed.
3. Carrie learns to read.
At 65 symbols put before her become letters, and she sees herself for the first time.
She exist, is here.
Finally has a place in this place that does not long to embrace her, but her it.
She can comprehend the only word she will ever write.
4. Has no voice.
Too soft spoken.
It was taken away by the noose around her brothers neck.
Her tears were not loud enough to drown out that white womyn’s shame.
5. Carrie forgets
that her green dress never had buttons.
“They went right down the front, who stole them?”
Carrie stop it.
hurts when it comes at you.
doesn’t smell when you’re cleaning it.
is an excuse to die.
6. Carrie has white babydolls.
Their eyes close when you lay them on their backs.
Their hair is blonde and straw-like.
I want to cut it all off.
7. Carries hands shake
when she writes her C’s
her R’s are never on the same line.
E’s always backwards.
8. Carries teeth look too big for her mouth too.