Her momma stands
cloaked in crushed, purple velvet,
hair light, the color of a Texas tumbleweed
but the texture of satin,
a collection of electric blue, parallel rays,
entrancing the room,
lips the color of a red fiery flame
and skin smooth and radiant
like she was born out of an oyster,
like she was born a pearl.
from the dark and shaded
stage of the Alvin Opry,
spotlight like a halo,
lustrous on the child’s maker,
a song so strong
it’s lasted all these years,
a song so familiar
like a warm, childhood lullaby,
“Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to…”
The child sits tall and straight
like her momma always told her to
and she marvels at
the most beautiful woman
she ever did see.
The ground swells
as the rumbling audience rises
and gives her momma a standing O.
The child inflates with pride
and she looks around at the large crowd
and yells for all to hear,
“That’s my momma!”
She is small and corralled
by her momma’s boot kickin' and tobacco spittin' fans.
So she climbs onto her grey folding chair
and spots her upstage
indulging in the praise,
dipping her small nose to smell flowers,
and offering her flushed, tender cheek
from men and women alike.
“Momma!” she beams.
Her voice surrenders to the heavy crowd.
She tugs on the hems of plaid, pearl snapped shirts,
skips on dusty cowboy boot after dusty cowboy boot
with her own shiny, bubble gum pink Mary Jane’s,
and pushes through a legion of legs
stuffed into wrangler jeans.
“Momma!” she cries,
when she reaches her biggest star.
Her momma looks down
to the tiny girl
whose weary face is red with might
yet filled with glee,
and waves her perfect French manicured hand...
“Go wait by the door..."
And the child drops her heavy head
of yellow, spiral curls and
her eyes, the irises blue as her momma's, fall
to the grimy, cement ground
and she slips through the crowd
like an unsnagged zipper
and finds the Opry doors,
so eminent and grand.
She sits with her legs folded,
right over left
letting her dress,
her very Sunday best,
paisley patterned and blue,
drape all around her
as she slouches down deep,
resting her delicate chin
on her clenched fist,
and watches the patrons single out
one by one
until there are
And the little girl smiles
and leaps to her side.
“You did so good, momma!”
“Yeah? I didn’t look too fat up there?”
And the child slips her hand into her momma’s perfect yet clammy one,
snuggles close and deeply inhales
the prettiest perfume
and the bitterest brandy.
“No momma! You looked beautiful.
3 weeks ago