Sweet Cornbread and Warm Comfort
I rested my weight on the dated metal green and white glider. I moved back and forth listening to the cracking sound that the glider forced out of the patched slats on Mama Ruth's front porch.
It was a pleasurable sight to see the pink petunias growing over the rim of the vintage washstand, that now served as a plant stand.
I let the cool southern breeze caress my ebony skin and play with the stiffness of my kinky hair.
The grievous conversation of the would-be mourners was compassionate and repetitious. The sounds of their voices came from all different directions of the charming country house. I heard the expressions of their grief poignantly sung all too many times before, the only dissimilarity was the deceased name to whom they dedicated their sorrowful woes.
I watched the sun make its exit through the western sky and the beauty of the expiring daylight made me feel melancholy.
Someone spoke out loud of Mama Ruth generosity. "She had da patience ove ah saint, ah devoted Christian."
"Ah heart ove gold." Another woman would offer.
"Neva heard her say an unkind word bout nobody" A voice piped out through the open kitchen window.
One woman got up from a green steel chair that quivered in gratitude. She went inside and cut the porch light on, and came back to reclaim the green chair, all the time singing praises to Mama Ruth. "Lawd knows Mama Ruth sho nuff could cook. Best cook in da whole county, even got dem White folks talkin' bout Mama Ruth's good cookin'."
A chorus of amens came from the rest of the mourners, that now gathered on the porch, sitting on the wooden steps and the wooden rail.
Pastor Day stood behind the screened door, looking out past the group of mourners on the porch, past the magnolia trees as if he was looking at some ghostly figure. He shook his head and shoved a bountiful spoonful of rice pudding into his mouth. "Praise da Lawd," he said. "Mama Ruth breath'd love in ever'thang she cook'd."
"Amen Pastor Day" One woman said as she made rhythmic sounds with her hands as she swatted flies and mosquitos. "Nobody bake ah cornbread frum scratch like Mama Ruth."
"Amen sister Adele, she is wight now servin' dat sweet cornbread to angel Gabriel." Her laughter drowns out the loon's eerie calls.
Under the white glow of the moon, my heart ached from grief, and my brain burned with memories of my grandma Ruth love for cooking. Just like her cornbread she was sweet, soft, and loved by all.
copyright 2007 Labyrinth of Life
Copyright © Mary E.W. Stephenson | Year Posted 2018