Happy Friday! This week, I’m featuring a poem from a poetry collection that was compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins. I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage brings together a diverse group of writers and artists to share childhood memories. Some wrote about their grandparents, while others about the river from their hometown. I chose this particular poem because of the strong message that it imparts. I hope you would like it, too!
Thank you Christie at Wondering and Wandering for hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week!
What My Kinfolk Madeby Carole Boston Weatherford
My great-great grandfathers Isaac and Phillip
who were born into slavery, made history,
founding communities after the Civil War.
My great grandmother Mary wove corn husk saddles
that she sold to save money for a small farm.
My great grandfather James built a house and barn on that land.
My great grandmother Margie was a nurse-midwife
who concocted remedies from herbs and roots
and welcomed brown babies into the world.
Her husband Lun made hot tamales and homebrew
that he sold to send two sons and a daughter to college.
One son, my grandfather, a preacher, penned Sunday sermons.
My grandmothers, Ann and Susan, baked bread
and sweets and pieced together crazy quilts
as they watched soap operas on TV.
My mother sewed dresses, curtains, and slipcovers.
My father set type, printed ephemera, tooled leather,
did decorative metalwork, built furniture, sheds,
and gazebos, and planted flower and vegetable gardens
and an orchard that still bears fruit.
How could I not strive to fashion garments from remnants,
to refinish heirloom furniture found in the barn,
to string words together into lines of verse?
How could I not strive to make something of myself?