Sunday, September 27, 2009


Clothes were flying from the drawer as Mama frantically searched through them in a hurry.  I could only see the rhythmic jiggle of her backside and the smoke that curled from the cigarette which dangled from her dry lips.  This was one of those teaching moments that I often heard of occurring at apron strings except what I got was a fat butt and garbled instructions.  

She squinted through the smoke as she drew on the Virginia Slim Mild and said, “Your aunties are prolly thinking they gon just come over here and take everything when Granny passes.  They aint nuthin but a bunch of vultures!”  I stood there wide-eyed watching her ransack a once elegant room full of damask and warm memories.  I had no time to indulge in the old times before being snatched back to reality with an almost harsh demand to “Hand me another bag!”

“What are vultures, mama?” I asked.  She explained in her way that they were the birds who circle a carcass waiting for deaths invitation to signal their rampage; adding with pith that my Aunties were vultures.  

I slowly handed her the bag as I thought better of asking what this mess we stood in made us.  Yes, she taught many things at her knee but the lessons I carried away were something different altogether.

Rhonda Gould Smolarek fell in love with writing when her fifth grade teacher Mrs. Joyce Pickett at Parkside Elementary School made such a fuss about a story she wrote about a squirrel in the woods.  She stuck with it as justification for all the beautiful pens available though now she mostly uses a keyboard to blend words into stories and poetry.  She just makes stuff up.  She does it mostly at and hopes you will do it, also.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a great piece. I could feel Mamma's aggravation. See the wide eyed girl trying to absorb what was happening around her. Lovey work.