COLLARD GREENS AND RUSTY WATER ©

                                                 By: Arose N Daghetto

They used to call my mama Miss Laura Green Jeans

Because she made the best damn pot of Collard Greens

Turnip and mustard greens also set the ghetto scene

Finger lickin’ good greens that always reign supreme

Tender greens seasoned with one or two ham hocks

Pressure cooked ’till the steam shot out that big ass chit’lin pot

Just one wiff of the aroma would draw an instant flock

Even the pushers and pimps formed a line from around the block

Everyone wanted a taste of Mama’s home made collard greens

Like dope is to an addict, her greens made you a veggie fiend

She didn’t need no competition to crown her the Soul Food Queen

Just a sample of her greens makes you wanna holler and scream

One day I had to ask, “Mama, what is the secret recipe?”

She said, “Baby ask me that question when you turn twenty-three.”

I asked her why I had to wait so long to find out the mystery,

And she said, “Because at seven, you hardly remember your ABC‘s.”

So I waited and waited as my birthdays came and went

While I enjoyed Mama’s greens that continue to be heaven sent

They were the main attraction during New Year’s, Easter, and Lent

Wowing every guest that filled the table from ladies to gents

Sixteen years, a high school diploma and a college degree later

A corporate bred nine to fiver is made out of this Mass Communicator

Mama’s now a retiree but continues to be the #1 Soul Food caterer

Preferring to cook as a hobby rather than a means of making paper

I said to her, “Mama, today I turned twenty-three,

Now are you gonna reveal that secret recipe to me?”

She said, “My last born baby girl, how proud am I to see

Your loyal heart keeps you so close to your daddy and me.

You could’ve run away to marry that funny talking New Yorker

But you chose to remain my happily unmarried daughter

You deserve to know my secret recipe, every ounce, every quarter

What makes your mama’s collard greens so famous is a pint of rusty water.

*From the book, “Anger Management: A Collection of Urban Poetry

Poem (not picture) © Copyright 2008, 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.