Mammie

by Andrea Elizabeth

I wrote a letter to Ndugu after watching About Schmidt. After reading about writer Zora Neale Hurston, I want to write a letter to Mammie.

Dear Mammie I never had,

Are you sad I never had you?

Do you miss the memory of me bouncing on your soft printed knee?

Here, I’ll give it to you.

Snuggle me tight and sing me a song till I goes to sleep.

Can I talk like you, please?

You’re too loving to be offended.

I can year you laughing at yo pale little chile.

Sing, “go to sleepy little baby”

I’m not a baby anymore.

And I’m not sleepy, but I am tired.

Tired of this ole busy world.

You didn’t want it to get this busy, did you?

Some people like running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I’ve done it before.

Do you think God would’ve made some people fast if he didn’t mean for them to run around like that?

I watched a bit of “Highway to Heaven” the other day about a man who built an empire and then imagined he was King Arthur.

He neglected his family to build that empire and knocked down too many trees and such.

He later asks Jonathan if man was intended to build empires,

and Jonathan said God gave everyone talents to use, but the problem is when the talent of strength outweighs love, as one example.

You shouldn’t always win just because you can, I ‘spose.

I used to love Michael Landon.

I didn’t have a crush on him, but I did think he was cute in Bonanza.

He was my Pa in Little House.

I’d rather have you as a Mammie than Carolyn though.

Lots of little black babies had white daddies and black mothers, didn’t they?

Do you remember what you tole Christy McNichol in Summer of My German Soldier?

You said some folks are irregular, and not to trouble herself over them.

Cast it off, cast it off

says you as you wave your hands in the air.

I can see you hanging clothes out on the line on a windy fall day while I play in the basket,

Leaves sliding against the sheets on their way down to the still green St. Augustine.

I’ll be a toddler prodigy and hum with you in harmony.

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