by Patricia Ann Boozer
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Each day around sunset, Mama Kazie and I come together. Maybe . . . as a closure for that day. In the spring and summer, we work in the flower gardens and sometimes the vegetable garden. And in the fall and winter, we gather wood and have Fireside Chats around the fireplace.
But the fall and winter season sessions are the best. We have the Fireside Chats. And sometimes, my sisters and other kids in the neighborhood join us.
Around the fireplace, we talk like the philosophers of old. Sitting in the courtyard. Like a parent and child fishing on the creek bank. Like sitting on the front porch swing and watching the cars go by. We talk.
She recites poetry. Tells funny and scary stories. And talks about her childhood.
One poem is about a tree:
“I think that I will never see a poem as lovely as a tree . . .”
Another poem is about history and politics:
“When they brought us to this country, every one of us was Black. They mixed their race with ours. Now they want to send us back . . .”
Mama Kazie has a knack for telling stories. She describes the people. How they look. Their personalities. She sets the stage. The location. Pleasant. Sad. Or maybe scary. Like at a cemetery.
She uses her body language. Her arms are constantly in motion. Facial expressions. Her eyes. They can almost tell the story without Mama Kazie even saying a word.
She is a one-woman act. Her performances are superb. You are either laughing. Crying. Scared. Or sitting on the edge of your chair. Just hanging onto her every word.
Mama Kazie talks about her ancestors. We talk about other things, too. Like why is the hula-hoop so popular? It is just a circle. These questions and comments get us thinking about the starting place of a great invention.
Mama Kazie asks our opinion about current events. What’s in the news? About school. Just anything we want to talk about.
But the real reason that everyone is there is to hear and see Mama Kazie’s one-woman act. Her grand performances.
She never let her eight grade education limit her. She is philosopher, psychiatrist, physician, and you-name-it all rolled into one.