Aunt Rosie's Gift
I saw her, as if through water;
She had lost decades, her thick hair, black
her figure, shapely, tall, straight,
untouched by age.
She lifted a smooth hand,
smiled, waved and faded away.
I heard her; She'd soon be going home.
So I went to her, the keeper of the tales,
our griot, rich with family stories.
mind clear, she spent her last words on me:
I used to sit at the feet of slaves
she told me, the crackling vibrato
fighting cancer's hand on her throat,
They were my uncles, my aunts,
my loved ones.
I sat on their laps. I heard their stories,
They turned their backs, and I touched their scars.
This isn't history to me.
She left me photos, she left me names, she left me words
I left her bedside; She lifted an
arthritic hand and waved goodbye.
My eyes opened.