Looking over her glasses, high-cheeked, sand-skin browned from the
Manistee sun and weathered by water from the Huron. She, Maggie,
was knock-kneed and mean as all get-out with a line for a lip that
metamorphosized into rectangles, polygons and hexagons. She saw
the possibilities.

She was her own Civil Rights Bill, Black Power Movement and
Underground Railroad—conducting private race riots in the back yards
of Michigan. Just as she did in Mississippi and Indiana in times when
Daddy was young and sisters Helen, Ozella, and Thelma close by. Too
hear their mama sing defiantly, “I’m Cheroke-e-e-e-e, I’m Cheroke-e-e-e.”
She had the papers to prove it. She got reparations that proved it. She saw
the possibilities.

Irish bullies would not mess with her children; her daughters’ husbands
wouldn’t either. Told a daughter-in-law (my mother) with four chickadees
and a newborn in her arms, it wasn’t nothin’ to her, this baby-birthin’ thing.
She’d birthed eleven, but coulda birthed twenty-three. She saw the

Tracy Ann Johnson is a wife, mother, grandmother and first generation Washingtonian. She resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and is a retired educator, currently teaching at a community college. Tracy loves reading, writing and teaching all types of literature as well as experimenting with poetry, micro-drama, short stories and flash fiction.

See more of her work in 7.3