Mary Alice's Daughters...

by Alyce

inspired by the lives of my aunts, 
johnny ruth, mary alice 2 (baybay) 
and sandra greathouse, 
the daughters of mary alice greathouse 
1...this is for my sister didi, 
and cousins, amy, torrie, pam, deedee, 
mary alice 3, and me...the next generation

johnny ruth, baybay, and sandy
three women this day
my father both fears and reveres

...they are his younger sisters...

and throughout the many years

I've learned what it means to be a
greathouse woman
things granny couldn't teach me
stories I didn't hear from her lips
I heard from them,
since she passed when I was
still at the knee....

But their 3 lives are full of tales
that speak volumes on love,
sex, survival, sacrifices, regrets... and pain
and of the joy of family
how to hold your head, keep your stride
through the fire and the rain

3 strong women, courageous
in the face of opposition and oppression
wise women, every gain, hard-fought,
who never yielded to depression

What they taught me
has given me balance
another kind of education
my traditional/classical training
would've left me far too short
in a funky real-life situation

They were raised to be loyal to their God,
and perhaps, too giving to their men
but a brotha dare not come between
a greathouse woman and her kin....

My 3 aunts are fierce black mothers
who stood in the gap, if the man was gone
unafraid to work 3 jobs, round the clock
provide for the kids, on their own

Their mother's spirit is as alive in us
as her features grace all our faces
and there are things I do instinctively,
because they come from ancestral places

I thank God for granny & her daughters
my bloodtied mentors, my other mothers
and pray all living/future greathouse women
serve to bless humanity....
our extended fam of sisters & brothers....

Mary Alice's Daughters... by Alyce

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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