We were fourteen when first i saw her face.
Cousin Lucy from Mississippi;
who rode the greyhound bus to town,
in blue overalls fading to grey
and sandals seasoned by walks on sand.
Shade from ancient trees made simple her steps
as she traveled to a place of protection;
our wooden house surrounded by porches.
Her daddy had transferred to Texas
while her mother sipped and slept throughout each day.
While with us, in clarinet, she grew proficient;
later, learned to lead the band;
even paraded on broadway and sang.
She never saw her dad again;
nor knew his other child.
When her mom died she did go home,
weeping beneath her fine straw hat.