My Grandmother Paced and Prayed


My cousin said, “those Eady men aren’t no good.”

My thoughts about grandmother’s shame I understood.

My grandmother pacing back and forth on  wood.

Back and forth from room to room she’d roam.

Back and forth sighing and crying with a moan.

Back and forth side to side she would pray.

Lawd let grandmother see a better day.

As a child, I watched intently as grandmother prayed

Lawd please show these children a better way. 

Grandmother prayed, perhaps for her man to return someday.

Grandmother prayed, perhaps to comfort her heavy heart.

Grandmother prayed, perhaps to mourn the loss of her baby.

Grandmother would call for Jesus to ease her pain.

Grandmother said, Catherine was her baby’s name.

Grandmother mumbles, she died in her crib.

My grandmother grieved  that baby by pacing the floor.

My grandmother never went to school; had to scrub white

folks floors.

My grandmother talked about how she suckled white babies

at her breast.

Perhaps my grandfather was not his best, after the baby died. 

Perhaps my grandfather Eady was misunderstood.

Perhaps my grandfather loved his baby girl.

My grand-mommy as I called her, loved Jesus.

My grand-mommy wailed for the suffering she knew.

My grand-mommy washed clothes for a few coins.

My grandmother paced and prayed

While on my sick bed I laid, oil on forehead.

Preacher came for the laying of hands.

I now sing for Yahweh’s band.

I can hear my grand-mommy pray.

Now down to sleep I lay.

Now I know how to moan and pray.

My grandmother paced and prayed sorrow away.

Prayed and paced my grandmother swayed.

Today, I pace and pray for God to take the care away.

Night falls brings its woes.

Black bodies from the trees like fruit.

Perhaps grandmother saw a few black fruits.

She picked cotton in the south before I was born.

White people our family escaped, My great-grandmother prayed.

Prayed and paced, paced and prayed.

What I would give to hear that melodic voice pray.

Dear Jesus, help my people find a way to survive this hell. 

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