How I Learned to Withstand the Bombasts of Hate
By Beverly Cottman
. . . she said, “This, too, will pass.”
Enveloped in soothing scents - Ivory Soap, Jergens Lotion, lilac talcum powder.
Shiny black hair, with just a few stands of gray, kept in a stylish up-do by ivory combs.
Blinding white sheets held in place on the line by wooden clothespin soldiers.
Sleeves rolled up on flour coated forearms, punching yeasty bread dough like a
ringless prize fighter.
Spicy callaloo made from leaves grown in the backyard.
Soft and warm lap to soothe away any pain or care, accompanied by a low hummed
verse of Precious Lord, Take My Hand.
Starched, ironed, and neatly folded uniform ready for tomorrow’s day labor.
Streetcar ride to the other side of town where her family waits to be taken care of.
Helped with bundles as she gets off the streetcar - wondering what the something they
“Don’t think we will be needing this anymore.” will be.
For the real family, always being taken care of, today’s wait is over.
. . . she, who deflects the bombasts of hate with dignity, grace, and defiance in a
clean, mended house dress, and sturdy shoes. Never broken. Never defeated.
Cross-backed apron pocket always holds peppermint candies and a handkerchief to
soothe the sobs and to wipe away tears caused by the cruelties of injustice.