When autumn returns with the crickets crying the smell of pine coming soft on the windand the women on the porch, quilts across their laps,Aunt Lucinda, Miss Bell and whatever neighborhas a breath or two at the end of the dayfor sitting and running their mouths.That's when we listento the grown folks talking.Hope,Dell and me sitting quiet on the stairs.We know one word from us will bring a hushupon the women, my grandmother's finger sudden;ypointing toward the house, her soft-spokenI think it's time for you to go to bed now usheringus into our room. So we are silent, our back againstposts and the back of the stairs, Hope's elbowson his knees, head down. Now is when we learneverythingthere is to knowabout the people down the road andin the daywork houses,
Grown Folks' Stories
about the Sisters at the Kingdom Halland the faraway relatives we rarely see.Long after the stories are told, I remember them,whisper them back to Hopeand Dell late into the night:She's the one who left Nicholtown in the daytimethe one Grandmama says wasn't afraidof anything. Retelling each story.Making up what I didn't understand or missed when voices dropped too low, I talkuntil my sister and brother's soft breaths tell methey've fallenasleep.Then I let the stories liveinside my head, again and againuntil the real world fades backinto cricket lullabiesand my own dreams.
I chose this poem because it reminded me of my past and how I was. I would always listen to grown ups stories because they were so interesting and cool like a movie at the drama scene where they tell you about everyone and everything about them what the hate, what they can't stand, or things that they are ok with. But as I read the poem it also showed me how alike Jacqueline and I are because we would listen to the stories and would tell them to our siblings and would fill in the gaps that we didn't understand or what we didn't get. But if we ever interrupted or tried to give them some information about the stories we would be sent away without any hesitance by the adults. While listening to the stories I would always picture the stories the adults would tell and would put my own little spin on it like a sassy alien destroying planets with laser eyes or with its sassiness. But now that I am older I still put my little spin on the story in my head but I get the stories better now that I understand them and don't overexaggerate anymore like I used to as a kid like with aliens, werewolves, and vampires making it more interesting to me.