Posted tagged ‘Wole Soyinka inspired poem’

South of the Mason-Dixon

March 8, 2015

South of the Mason-Dixon  (A Little While Back)

Even as a bare-legged
little girl with just wisps
of flaxen hair,
I knew that there was a difference
in the house where Miss Daisy, who smelled so sweet,
went nights;
even if we had not driven her home,
her owning
no automobile–that it was not–would not have been–
brick and mortar-lawned,
but clapboard, slab-boarded, a clean-
swept porch standing over a dirt-swept yard, centered
by a door that looked flat black
with just the screen closed–so hot
down there then–
no light on inside that I could see,
not from the front seat, Miss Daisy getting out
from the back–
maybe because of the bugs–

Even as a very little child,
of the flaxen-haired
variety, strands wispy as wilted
petals, I knew enough
to be surprised, almost disbelieving,
when we ran into Miss Daisy
at some store some night,
me running up to her–how
was she there–how
would she get
home–her siding
my cheek, palm the color
of ham, hand dark
as a date, smelling still
as sweet–

It must have been I think
the old Five and Ten, not
one of the new suburban stores,
blinking with white shine, yards of glass,
florescence, refrigeration.

Still, me, not ten, not
even five,
knew enough
to be surprised,
almost disbelieving,
worried–

*************************************

A poem of sorts for Grace’s prompt on With Real Toads about the wonderful Nigerian poet, Wole Soyinka.  Mine is inspired by his poem Telephone Conversation.  (As a note, I am pretty sure that I was in the back seat and Miss Daisy in front in actual fact, knowing my parents.)

P.S. – I must confess to never seeing the movie Driving Miss Daisy–I realize people will think it’s a reference to that–not meant to be!  Oh well!