The frame house sat in the middle of
grassland at the end of a bumpy red
Alabama road. That day was hot
with snakes and beetles below deep grass.

Large trays of cornbread, glazed hams,
pots of greens, barbecue tended all day
by the men, sweet potato pies and
country cakes.

Mandy told her granddaughter tales of
childhood. How she needed her father to
chase away the snakes before she could pick
the white fluffy bolls that stuck in her fingers.

She spoke of the hunting dogs that lay by the
fire while the children were cold behind,
and of riding in the bed of a truck to
high school basketball games.

She shared a family photograph of the
thirteen of them grouped on their porch
while her father held a defiant baby
Mandy with a stick in her hand.

Her brothers and sisters dispersed to
Pensacola and Detroit car factories.
She moved with her husband to Pittsburgh.
The land is now part of a large oil field.