Rooted & Raised: bible belt black

I am rooted in trees, grass, open space, land that stretched further than my imagination, red clay roads

I am rooted in church on Wednesdays, Sundays, revival, Sunday School, twanging often inarticulate tongues that speak truth to power and more wisdom than I ever received from any book or professor

I am rooted in single mother, married mother, then single mother again, father present, then father gone, in the midst of it all love remained

I am rooted in family members who out perform our blood ties, cousins who feel like siblings, aunts who act like mothers, uncles with the pride of fathers

I am rooted in raised daughters and praised sons

I am rooted in yes ma’am, no sir, grace, manners, patten leather shoes, buckles and bows, lace, pressed hair, pretty ain’t easy

I am rooted in union mother, mixed with tough heart, always got an opinion, space where confederate flags fly freely but Blackness built the land

I am rooted in hard edges, soft hands, loud laughter, kitchen tables, front porches, muscadines, peaches

I am rooted in Holy Trinities: faith, family, & land; butter, salt, & female hands; praise, prayer & prophecy; Friday night football, Saturday Football, and Sunday Football 

I am rooted in Victory Is Mine, Joy Is Mine, Happiness Is Mine, Freedom Is Mine, Freedom today is mine…

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