Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 5.2 (2005) 86-88
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Serenghetti Crow, and: Fried
Serenghetti CrowGreat Grandma was legendary.
she was one half black,
one half Cherokee
and full on crazy.
that's what daddy said.
she asked quietly at first,
"quit the racquet."
Then, yelled. "Stop banging on the piano."
They didn't take her seriously.
From then on,
they always would
as she drove her slate gray point home.
When the family went cotton picking,
she went out back
grabbed an axe
split the piano into twos.
When I am torn,
I rest on what my daddy said.
I carry her story by heart
somewhere not far from here
I hear the crows
in her black hair
climbing braided ropes,
feel the burn
of the Serenghetti setting
in her amber eyes [End Page 86]
held by cheekboned cliffs.
Understand how she cemented her story
with one solitary act.
A wounded healer
hammering her stance.
splitting the air. [End Page 87]
FriedDaddy was all things fried
fish, chicken, and pork rinds.
He was also things
I'd never been pickled pig feet, chitlins,
and marrow sucked deep from chicken bones.
On soft days
he was a whole liter of Orange Nehi.
On hard days
he was 3 six packs of Schlitz Malt Liquor
when Black Label went out of business.
Ate hot roasted peanuts bought roadside.
Smoked two Winston soft packs a day
chased by peppermint or Listerine.
Lathered himself in Old Spice
from forehead to big toe.
Then, off around the corner
to the old country store, the Hub,
where he ran off by mouth
bragged about his children
behind their backs,
those same backs
he never thought to pat.
Dad was a man of many odd ways.
Cooked barbecue well done
Past well done, burnt.