Saturday, March 5, 2011
and in a dimmed room filled with unfamiliar faces,
the inspiration in her heart glowed and lit up the room
as the bronze of her skin shined brightly within the ambiance
of laughter and playful chatter.
There wasn’t a moment her mind didn’t smile;
there wasn’t a moment I didn’t hear her voice
rejoicing in a soulful dialect that had everyone/around her
enthralled in her words. Her cheeks were rosebuds
blossoming into brownish red every time her
face laughed; a color perfectly matching
the technique of the shawl she wore strategically placed
around shoulders that once cried.
She was a woman wise with grandeur; a woman
my eyes told me was in her late thirties and life
placed in her fifties but the spirit of her heart
gave off the magnificence of a woman/ageless.
As she spoke I heard within her tone the voices
of bravery, sadness, fear, strength, defeat
and hope. She talked about a little boy she was guided/
lost temporary on the wrong path she reached him
and turned him back into the dream he had to be
for in his self believing he would find the structure
She talked and laughed about her days in the projects
and how togetherness was formed despite
not having much. Everyone knew other’s name
and held each other’s hands in the times of need
when the angers of poverty sought to be freed.
I found myself at her table finally introduced. Her soft hands
shook mine as she asked me if I was also a teacher.
I responded with a nod that I wasn’t but she stared at me
never letting go of that warm smile that was still fresh
It was then I recognized she lost a son too soon. The pain
guided her to the appreciation of the small things in life
we start to believe are meaningless. She talked and shared
of meeting her son’s childhood hero. A man she recognized
one day at a charity event; a man she only knew
as a football card hanging on her son’s wall.
Her eyes glimmered as she told me how she believed
the moment to be a miracle. She was given
the chance to meet someone her son worshipped
and it was a little thing like a football card/something
she always looked at as meaningless that connected her
to the aspects of her life that helped her grow
and it was this little something meaningless
that turned into a meaningful friendship keeping
her son alive
and I believed in miracles because she was a miracle.
She taught me that night how to live and enjoy the moment;
how to appreciate the little things and that we all are a value
to someone even when we think we have no one.
That night I realized that I was indeed a teacher—
and she educated me as she danced into the night
showcasing the rhythm of all her experiences
in a graceful pattern of life’s choreography.
She was a woman, a mother, a daughter and a believer,
her name was Miss Jackee.
Tarringo T. Vaughan