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April 2021

praise how the ordinary turns sacred

glenis redmond


Praise to me drawing lines,

I only buy paper towels in bulk,

So off to the Sam’s I go,

when I got there my needs 

turned into a bottle of wine and two dresses 

for my about to be born granddaughter

and a pair of stretch pants for my daughter after delivery.

Praise to the cashier who carded me today.

I asked her if she did not see me standing here 

with all this gray hair in my hair?

Praise to black women. 

Praise to her response: I see you and it.

I also know young folks 

wear gray in their hair these days.

I said thank you for that compliment. 

Praise to her smooth easy way,

that did not miss a beat.

Grocery item. Check.

Compliment. Check.

Wisdom. Check. 

Praise to her gray hair.

Praise to her age: 70. 

Praise to her being comfortable in her own skin.

I know her age because she told me. 

She didn't look it.

She defied it

with the lightest of caramel hue.

I just said, "I love us. 

Love how we do." 

She smiled and said thank you too.

Praise to slick elders.

Praise to when like meets like. 

Praise to the pat on the back. 

Praise to being seen and seeing.

Praise to it don't take much 

and don't cost you nothin.

Praise to some people have jobs, 

other people on a mission.

Praise to the Vitamin D givers. 

Praise to the admiration and the uplift.

GLENIS REDMOND travels (inter)nationally reading, teaching and performing poetry. Glenis is a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and has had two Poet-in-Residence posts at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in Greenville, SC and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. Glenis is a Cave Canem Fellow and a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient. Glenis also helped create the first Writer-in-Residence position at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC. Between 2014–2020, Glenis served as the Mentor Poet for the National Student Poets Program,  preparing young poets to read at the Library of Congress, Department of Education, and for First Lady, Michelle Obama at The White House. Her book, The Listening Skin  will be published by Four Way Books in 2022.  Glenis has recently been awarded the highest award for the Arts in the State of South Carolina, The Governor’s Award. WEBSITE. TWITTER. INSTAGRAM.


(Image credit: I am my ancestors' wildest dream, 2020, Leighann Blackwood).

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