(Mother of Imani Shabazz)

these were the colors

of her hat:

rustic browns, fall tones on an off-white back–

she wore it well;

she was of New Orleans

a place i’ve sought to know;

but i am a stranger to its mysteries,

its magic, it’s charm.

i have danced its dances

and watched its parades

a spectator of a culture

so rich, so rare.

yet she was a mistress

of such things

with local stature

in the nuances

of that city’s life.

she will be well remembered


for more than eighty years.

smiling, cooking, donning the wave

of the Mardi Gras float.

i hear the music of the 

second line;

it floats to the heavens–

it exalts those in the body

and those now free.

fly, Ms. Shorty

in the life

of the world

Linda Tauhid



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