I Am Not Old

by YaYa

I can remember as a much younger person when I would comment on the age of another as boy you sure are old, and now at fifty-five I get that a lot which made me sit down and think, am I really old now? The answer I came up with is this:

	Old I am not
Evolved I have become
But I am yet like the morning sunrays playing with the clouds
Seeking the warmth of yet another day
I am young like the morning dews first kiss of a fragile rose in bloom
I can be as strong as a hurricane wind
Or as gentle as a summer breeze
I have evolved from a stormy sea into a flowing stream
My roots are firmly planted in today 
for I have lived the lessons of yesterday 
while sowing seeds in hopes of a better tomorrow
I have held babies to my bosom for two generations and
Celebrated the exit of elders and young
I have known joys that bring tears to your eyes and
Sorrows that making breathing insane
I have evolved from a confused little girl to an
Elder with much to share
Old I am not 
Seasoned I have become   

I was one of the ones that always listened to the old folks when they talked, mainly cause they had such good stories to tell. Often I could close my eyes and envision the places and events they talked about. I can remember my momma and grandmother all talking about Central Ave in what is now called South Central LA late forties and early fifties when that is where black folks partied. These were the best clubs spotlighting the multitude of black talent living or visiting in the Los Angeles area. A Mecca of black owned and operated Ma and Pa business flourished in da hood.

My memories start in the late fifties and early sixties when the baton of ownership began to change from black owned to Chinese. I grew up on 51st Street and San Pedro, one block from South Park, the staging area for the National Guard during the Watts Riots. I lived walking distance from the first casualty of the riots and we had National Guards sitting on our front porch, one white and one black. I can remember my mother giving the black guard cold water from the fridge and making the white guard drink from the water hose, I did enjoy that moment, our stand for civil rights! Then in the late sixties and early seventies I again watched the baton of ownership pass from the Chinese to the Vietnamese and the number of black business moved to the Westside, those that were able to hang on and move with the flow of the times. Now in 2006 the baton has yet been passed again. Now you have middle easterners owing the businesses and the cultural make-up is the blacks that could not get out and the Mexicans that just got here. Now I am the elder telling the stories of times long passed, back in the day, but I had to live it to be able to tell it.

One of my fondness memories is when I told an older friend of mine that her ass was really becoming old. She smiled at me and cocked her head to one side and said, “Yep and if you're lucky one day, an old bitch will walk in your door”, I see her coming up driveway yall and I welcome her with open arms! How many of you ladies know and understand that bitch is an art form and it takes years to master the art. I always strive to be the best at what I do. I am not old, just evolved.

I Am Not Old by YaYa

© Copyright 2006. 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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