Wards of the Ghetto

There is an older lady that I know. I tried to help her grow. She always thought my grass was greener because the Christ within would show. I’d tell her about my faith and watch my words go in one ear and out the other. When she’d reply with worried eyes, she’d tell me:

If it’s not one thing,
it’s another.
And when it rains it pours,
so I tell my mother. 

And she buys me little things,
to remind me of another time,
when my husband worked his 9 – 5,
that’s when we’d wine and dine.

Oh but it’s never one thing.
Why do I bother?
When will I again get the finer things in life?

I’d tell her not to worry; I’d tell her Bible stories. I’d tell her to fix her eyes on Jesus, but we’d laugh as she told me of the time, her pastor preached his silly rhymes and the people would all say Amen.

“Mary had a little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, Mary had a little lamb

“Yes, Yes, Yes!”

His church is a mockery in the wards of the ghetto. The people thirst, the lion roars, and I’d tell her the world doesn’t have to devour. And she’d reply:

If it’s not one thing,
it’s another.
And when it rain it pours,
Oh brother.

I’ll blow this little paycheck,
to remind us of another time,
when my husband worked his 9 – 5,
that’s when we’d wine and dine.

Oh but it’s never one thing,
it’s another.
Why do I bother?
When will he get another 9 – 5?

Let’s talk about your husband; the man who drags you to the Church. He tells you to have more faith but you laugh then you cry. She’s such a good story teller; I’d swear I’ve met this man 100 times. I’d swear I’d know the finest guy.

And she smiles as she tells me, how they were high school sweethearts, and he went on to get a college degree. And things were mighty fine until at work he suffered racial blows. He’d finally lose his cool, and the others would say that isn’t cool. He’s 50 and now in need to pay the bills. 

If it’s not one thing,
it’s another.
And when it rains it pours,
and her lover
never again saw past $10 an hour.

She’d sit and talk about the time
mind you, her husband was still alive–
when things were not always fine,
he’d tell her everything would be alright.

Oh but it’s never one sting,
he was a father.
Why did he even bother?
If I saw her right now, I’d tell her:

If it’s not one thing,
it’s another.
If you don’t have your honey
you have your mother.

And you always have a smile,
when you’re busy working.
Those little bumps are nothing
compared to the love you have.

But it’s not just one thing,
it’s several others.
The miles you walked together
and your daughters.
It was never about those medical bills.

But it’s always in one ear,
and out the other.

Maybe for you, God’s saved the final prize.

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