LOCKS

old women on porchShe sat, reflected.
Locks of silver trembled in fingers reluctant,
Hesitant.
The brush stroked indulgently,
Sensually, unrestrained,
One hundred times.

She sat, reflected.
Strands of silver shimmered in attraction,
In friction.
Crowning highlights bristled in ritual.
Hair, alive and crackling, flew,
Unrestricted.

She arose, retreated,
Locks of silver tightly braided, pinned down,
Properly.
Hair, alive and crackling,
Decently subdued,
And bound.
Anita Stubbs

 

 

Women and Children in Need

living in poverty
Photograph by Steve Liss

When my husband was a little boy, according to court documents, his mother, a widow, left him and his sister in the care of “vicious and immoral people, without proper food or sanitation.”  Due to her neglect, the county removed her youngest two children—my husband and his sister—from the residence and she lost all parental rights.  The older daughter, thirteen-years-old and pregnant, was sent to a state school for girls, where her baby was born and placed for adoption.  An older son, age sixteen, joined the army.  My husband and his sister were ultimately separated from each other.  When he was two and a half and she was five, they were adopted by different families.  They never saw their mother again. Continue reading Women and Children in Need

On The Banks of Running Creek

running bridgeOn a Texas August day
Back in 1948,
Daddy took me for a ride.
How well I do remember there was no interstate,
Just a dusty county road,
One car wide.

Riding in the front seat,
All the windows down,
I sang along with the radio.
As the wind blew the music and the sweet gum scent around,
Daddy whistled softly,
Sweet and low.

On the banks of Running Creek,
We stopped by the bridge,
Free as the music and the wind.
Bending and swaying, we bowed to the breeze,
And Daddy took me gently
By the hand.

On the banks of Running Creek.
Me and Daddy danced,
In the middle of the dust and heat.
The woods gathered round us, ancient guardian trees,
And rustled with the rhythm
Of our feet.
Anita Stubbs

Down Home Sickness

Home sickness image
“He came with her.  Mary said it didn’t matter what anybody thought.”

“Mary’s the daughter?”

“No-o-o-o.  Mary’s the mother.  I can’t remember what the girl’s name is, but she’s the one that lives up north, someplace in New York.  Anyway, that’s where she met that nigger man she married.”

“Mother, please.”

“What?  Why, I have to watch everything I say to you, Lana!” Continue reading Down Home Sickness

Church of My Youth

old church

Church of my youth,
Old teacher, old friend,
our roots so entwined, entangled
deep beneath the sand.
Growing up in the 50’s
was an experience all its own –
Life pulsated with innocence,
and that church was a second home.
We were childhood sweethearts –
the group that I was in,
but the 60’s took us so far away,
we could never come back again.
I wonder though on summer nights,
when moonlight fills those pews,
can shadows from our pasts be seen,
unveiled like hidden truths?
Does “Blessed Assurance” echo still
as that old piano rings?
Do June bugs fly in and out,
while ghostly voices sing?
Can babies be heard crying
above some ancient prayer,
while stifled youthful laughter,
is silenced by a stare.
Anita Stubbs