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Compare this to phone calls and all was fine:
“Got no worries. The Lord’s blessed me with you.”
But truth was she carried great stress in mind.
Yet discovered my grandmother anew.

Might I imagine some landmark reveal?
Instead, her strength and love came into view.
Loyal and faithful – to her no big deal.
Yet discovered my grandmother anew.

This poetry collection is dedicated to and in honor of my grandmother, Jean Martin Allen. She fell asleep in death on June 8, 2020, at 96 years old.

I began reading her journals a few months ago and discovered my grandmother’s heart, her worries, and her strengths. It was eye-opening to say the least. My heart ached for her struggles in old age, but rejoiced in the lessons she continued to teach me even from the grave.

What you poured out; the love you gave…
Hits me now like shock waves.
I’m emptied, gutted, heart outpoured -
how to make sense of these shoes -yours?

She chronicled the seemingly mundane day to day life, but I found deep insight into her character through those simple pages of her heart. It was an amazing project to work on because I challenged myself to write new & different styles of poetry, all focusing on my grandmother as the central inspiration.

Her S’s were secret scrolls,
curled up in love, fear and appreciation.
Her tight letters wanted to be angry, but
she was southern-born and bred, so etiquette required
a different direction – quiet acceptance.

Within these pages are free verse, mobius, acrostic, minute, palindrome to name just a small few of the poetry styles included. Most importantly, I get to introduce you to Jean. African American. An only child. Mother of two, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of 22+, great-great grandmother of 6+ and counting. Greatly loved. Deeply missed by her next four generations.

I was warmed with the thought that at my age,
she’d seen the same moon,
A marbled brilliance in the night sky, shining light on her details.
What had it been for her to be colored so magnificent,
with wide hips and shapely legs that still draws attention to her progeny
With her dark brown skin. But made to feel lesser about it.
Is that why her men were high yellow?

Sadly, throughout her writings, she chronicled my grandfather’s final year. It was filled with sickness, but they still trudged on attempting to go about life as usual. Many things she kept close to heart. I thank her for her many gifts of wisdom, her funny sounds of surprise, her 7-Up and German chocolate cakes, her stories at the breakfast table, her exquisite script enclosed in greeting that followed me around the world - no matter where, she always wrote.

She was a classic. She was southern, but not considering herself a belle. She was a lady who taught her grandchildren proper etiquette. If you can't tell yet, I loved everything about her. My grandmere, Jean Allen. (1924-2020)

As Is the Sky

SKU: 9798356391996
  • Signed paperback edition direct from author

  • Books shipped via U.S. mail unless express service is requested and available

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