Maya Angelou

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:

Maya Angelou Cover  Old Fashion Girl

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.

With precision

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.

Maya and amiri