back to Five Willows Literary Review main site

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poem ---- Centell Jackson

Purple Hull Peas

Dusty roads and crooked curves led us to this place
Surrounded by many gullies, mountains, and valleys
Crop dusters sprayed water upon these gems
And we healed from them, as we peeled them,
we blended, as we mended our kinship
Mother Louise would get a bushel or two,
from her fields of love that's huge,
or maybe from L.D. Hughes or Auntie Magnolia
She would require them, when she, we, had the desire for them,
for black eyed peas
We would peel until our fingers were purple,
signifying the love and affection between us
We would gather pots and pans, and spots on couches and floors,
I would always sit by the front door
Who could peel the most?
 Almost like fun competition
And I figure Mother Louise was fishing
for unity among brothers and sisters,
when she’d say we got to peel peas tonight,
 echoed from her kitchen
I speculate she’d find the time, and design a session,
 to peel, to reveal stories for laughter
She'd set it up to catch up
She did it for unity, for family
I never thought about it much then
 her craftiness, to capture, and catch us,
this family of 15 and more, between walls of 4, for 1 reason.
Peeling, feeling that oneness, that often escaped us
We would put them all in one big pot, symbolizing the coming together
She would orchestrate it well like Beethoven,
and when she put them on the oven to cook,
mmmmmmm!, you don't know what you're missing!
Her own special seasonings
 her own special reasoning
her own ingredients
She's special to me
I can't wait to peel another mess or two
of them purple hull peas.