Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mother Wit


Issues? Now she's got issues;
stair steps months, not years apart,
shades from olive
to blue black
evidence of the multiplicity
of advantage taken
of this too ripe child.
Take your pick;
close relations, family friends
irresponsible men
leaving her with issues;
stair steps,
door mats
of society,
lined up obediently
against the backdrop
of her confusion
waiting in the rain
for change to come.

©Peggy Eldridge-Love 2004 - All Rights Reserved

I listened to the story of the woman from Georgia who refused to ignore her gut instinct and persisted until she satisfied that gnaw inside that a child, a baby, was in peril. It was an "Anne Frank" moment for me, a reassurance of our goodness at a time when our hedonistic nature has appeared to be at its all time greatest. This woman crossed all limits and boundaries to rescue this little girl. She didn't care about being a nuisance, she wasn't concerned that some overworked policeman might want to relegate her to the pile of hysterical women he might think he talks to all the time, she didn't accept the first answer that everything was all right! No, no, no! She followed that superior machine within -- her gut -- and she prevailed.

It caused me to think about moments of my own. Times when I've seen things or heard things that wouldn't go away, wouldn't let me go. I wondered if I acted upon them as I ought. Had I left anyone in the lurches that I might have helped? I searched my self and couldn't come up with any situation that I might genuinely have changed, but I did come up with faces, with eyes, that stayed. Like the girl at the bus stop on 31st and Troost a few years ago. I wrote a poem about her the day I saw her, and I have driven by that corner many times since looking for her ... and hers. I've never seen her or them again, at least not in the flesh.

I'll be more attentive in the future. I think the majority of us, at the least the majority of the women, who heard the story of this selfless woman from Georgia will be. I think it was a call to women in a way. A call to the return of that part of us that protected our families because it was continuously tuned in, that part my mother, aunts and the elders called Mother Wit.

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