© 2016 Barbara Grace Lake

 

Was she old, the lady laying there?
Ninety-five about I guess she’d be
No way to really know her years or time
Her living’s written on her face and soul
Man, there ain’t no other way to tell

Her daughter’s there, and all the children, too
But they don’t know, their mama never told
And all her friends from long ago, they’re gone
She was the last, her memories gone too.
With nothing left but dust to show her life

She’d talk about a time in Storyville
Of Basin Street, of ladies in Globe Hall
Her family’d say, now Mama, just you hush
The children.  You don’t want to tell them such.
But once there was a young a pretty girl –

She stands now on the road outside the church
Her papa standing on the steps, she thought
“Don’t he look fine all dressed in crackling white.”
Her dress was gauzy summer stuff and though
A mist was rising up, her feet were bare

She felt confused, her father took her hand
And held it tight.  She knew she hadn’t seen
Him in a long, long while but can’t recall
Why that should be.  She said “Now look down there.
I see the preacher’s cart.  Did someone die?”

“The day feels strange, like I ain’t nearly woke.
I’ve never seen the bayou mists so high
And yet like angel hair so full of light
So gold the steeple mirroring the sun
Oh, Papa, You be here?  Am I come home?”