Growing up, I read ALL of Maya Angelou’s memoirs…. Singin’ & Swingin’ & Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas was always my favorite of hers at the time. I’d go to the library in Downtown LA and come home with STACKS of books, and take in the words like candy. She IS the woman who inspired me to be a writer, while my father is the overall person to inspire, indeed. …….. I knew this day would come when we’d have to honor her passing. But…. wow. It’s here. I feel as if I’ve lost a literary grandmother or poetic guardian angel fairy godmother of the ages …..Phenomenal Woman was always a favorite poem as well, and when I was about 19 I wrote this poem called Old Fashion Girl, which I considered a direct decedent of Dr. Angelou. ….Here’s to Life, and thank you, Maya:
Old Fashion Girl
digs them righteous brothas/
the passionate lovers
who stand with BIG hands
to hold big HIPS
kissing big LIPS
rings of love seal partnerships.
That girl is old-fashioned/
she conceives dreams through passion &
breathes life into the vision.
it’s the rhythm that keeps her in tune.
Lyrics and melodies swell within the comfort of her womb
& as her belly grows round, full like the moon
her confidence knows it’s not a moment too soon ‘cause
Old-fashion girls expect the unexpected
Mama holds it down when things are getting hectic!
Never mind what you’re doing,
sis’ got it together
and you won’t forget that smile
which radiates ever
like the SUN/
she’s warm & the girl loves to laugh,
drinking silly-girl juice from a champagne glass!
Old fashion girls they’ve got a lot of class.
You wish you had the charm an old fashion girl has.
Now, Old Fashion girls
they do love the Lord.
Walking quick & steadfast,
they live by the sword.
This woman personifies compassion & virtue,
but don’t cross ole girl
‘cause you KNOW she will hurt you!
Keepin’ family together when the storm passes through
and shares the peace which keeps your spirit anew.
Inspires young girls to believe that whatever they do
that Old Fashion Girl essence dwells deep within you.