“Settled In Alabama”

Ida James(Photo of my Grandmother, 1892-1979, by J. Casey)


“Settled In or Life in Alabama”

We plant ourselves on hard, red clay out back.
A dusty game of Jacks set our hearts free
but near mid-morning, we are hungry birds
and stand outside our granny’s country store.
We shuffle dirty, bare feet; outstretched hands:
Six little beggars wait at open door
We hanker for an Orange Crush, Moon Pie.

Her checkered oil cloth table later swells:
the smell of steaming, hand-tilled butter-beans.
Her cornfield lay in back near railroad track.
Fried chicken was a staple from her hens
who clucked and pecked, roamed ’bout without a pen.

I marvel how they must have fed us all.
So many children, grand, with mouths to feed.
No Social nor Security was known;
the option was to work or else you starved.

Late afternoon, we ran the mile of road
to meet the city bus brought Granddad home.
And we, his soldiers marching happily
we settled in behind him, homeward, free.