Norene’s Laugh

15 May 2017

Norene’s laugh
echoes through my window
on a Saturday morning
reaching every room
filling them with sunshine

At once
I am transported
to a congregation of aunts
Nennen’s toothless smile
Granny lifts her skirt high
before plunging them back between her thighs
and a laugh from deep within bellows joy
Another aunt tears streaming from her face
thumps a table and gasps for air
and a laugh escapes
peeling sorrow away from the wooden walls
of the house
in Salem

Today on that same street
Norene laughs and fills my heart with joy
and memories
of family
and brown women in madras head ties
and clicking sliver bracelets
Norene’s laugh is snow cone
ginger stick and sugar cake
And every time
it touches me it fills me up
it is Glory!
It is Hallelujah
it is a blessing
when Norene laughs.

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