by Lindsay Gary
5 p.m. Grannie making her way outside. Don’t slam that screen door. Her and grandpa sitting on the porch, telling stories and shooting the breeze. Talking. Laughing. Singing. Watching the people go by. Black faces. Real light. Real dark. Some medium. Walking to the shotgun on the corner. Driving to that great big house by the bayou. Ice cream truck. Dogs chasing. Children running. Playing. Sweating. Water hose. Double dutch. Ms. Mary watering the garden. Mr. Rico’s cigar smelling. Saturday morning. How good it felt. Pancakes sizzling. Bacon frying. Mama washing, doing hair. Head full of rollers. Don’t mess that head up. Cleaning up. Vinegar. Pinesol. Suds in the tub. Bubbles in the sink. Phone off the hook. She ain’t here right now. Saturday night. The El Dorado. The the dorado. Black. Golden. Pretty hair shining. Dazzling. Nice dress. Second best. Best dressed. Jazzzzzzzzzz. Hopping. Auntie flirting. Just smiling. Don’t drink that. Church in the morning. Wheeler Avenue. Civil Rights. Best dressed. Wolf’s. Sunday best. Sanctified. Hallelujah. We alive. St. Mary’s down the block. Black faces. Real light. Some medium. A few dark. Mostly white. Rosa Parks. Grannie in the back. Segregation. Humiliation. White priest watching. Don’t blame the Church. Daddy blaming God. Mama and Grannie cooking Sunday dinner. Waiting for the cornbread. Drinking coffee at the table. Grown folk talk. Watching white faces pack up. Neighbors can’t be church members too. Thank God. Monday morning. Grannie going back down to River Oaks. Cooking. Cleaning. Slaving. Exploitation. Running fast back home. Cooking. Cleaning. Slaving. Exploitation. Running fast back to Third Ward. Cooking. Cleaning. Slaving. Exploitation. Running fast back home to Third Ward. Last time. Back aching. Don’t stop running. Can’t go back. White faces chasing. Yelling. Chasing. Yelling. Don’t let her escape. Chains. Rope. Guns ablaze. Enslave. Colonize. Gentrify. Faster. Stronger. Louder. Auntie waking up from her nap. Dazed. Ms. Mary looking out of the window. Afraid. Mr. Rico gathering ammunition. Prepared. Making my way outside. War. Let Grannie alone. She ain’t for sale.
Lindsay Gary is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston. She obtained a Bachelor of Art in History, with minors in Business Administration and Dance, and was a member of the Pre-Law Program. She recently received her Master of Public Administration in Public Policy and is currently pursuing a Master of Art in History from Texas Southern University. She works as opinion editor for The Herald, a blogger for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and a weekend docent for Project Row Houses. A global citizen, Lindsay has traveled to twenty-three countries including Haiti, Turkey, Tanzania, and Croatia.