Learn From Weeds

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


Someone I love advised me against being as transparent as I wish to be. If this is insensitive, please forgive me….

In my work at the library, my favorite clients tend to be older black women. Here’s what I have observed…. They are often vocal followers of Jesus Christ, and they tend to have a joy that rises above the circumstances I KNOW they have experienced through a lifetime in our country. They are my superiors, and I love working with my superiors.

Here’s a story I wrote about one such patron:

A little lady stopped by the reference desk holding her computer pass. “I’m going to need your help,” she said to me. Then, feigning terror, she added, “Look at my face!”

“Full of beauty, love, and grace?” I shot back. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you.”

As we sat together working on her documents, she began telling me how good her grown children have been to her, how if she asks them to do so they’ll pool their money and buy her a computer. To prove her point she showed me pictures of the little greenhouse they bought her, complete with a clever sprinkler system. I asked her how she’ll cook the squash and okra she started in the greenhouse and is now growing in her garden (hint: it involves baking, which is better than boiling!).

Humor, patience, thankfulness. The question I’d shot back at her was right on the money. Look at her face… full of beauty, love, and grace.

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