NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 55

Summertime Home again, the chatter of 2 a.m. mattress commercials, plastic lilacs in the bathroom vase, rose-shaped soap blooming in the china dish. Mornings, over cornflakes, we watch Regis and Kathie Lee. On the swamp porch, a trashcan gathers black ants. I still see Grandma sizzling okra, frying catfish, shucking corn—her hair streaked black like a magpie. Now she parks her wheelchair behind the sliding glass door— Good breeze today—and pats my hand as the oil rig taps cracked ground. Afternoons I scramble under cornhusks, dump watermelon rinds into the unplowed garden. Section her pills. Scrub the grout. On the brick wall, hornets rebuild their muddy pillars. Chores done, I prepare for my walk to count the fireflies and each evening return with the same white lies— the pastures golden, fences unbroken, pecans any day now ready for picking. In the rocker by the window, I wait for night as qvc commercials buzz on the screen. 53 Cup her flickering hands as she sleeps. BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE I fix her a whiskey, lift her to bed. BRN-FALL-2013.indb 53 9/13/13 12:48 AM