A Poem About Margie and Tricia.

margie-and-tricia-six

Margie with Tricia…who always closed her eyes in pictures.

 Margie worked for my family and a few other families in our neighborhood when I was growing up.  I was the little girl named Tricia and I loved Margie more than I can really ever explain. She began working in our neighborhood because her husband worked with our next door neighbor at a very fine men’s clothing store downtown. Her husband was named Fred and he was a porter at the men’s store and actually took care of just about everything. Just about everyone in town knew Fred and everyone liked him so very much.

As the story goes, Fred told our neighbor that his wife was looking for a job. In that day and age, jobs were difficult to find for black women…even those who had a very fine education like Margie. That is how Margie came to work for several of the neighborhood families and thus…quickly became a  part of our families…an incredibly important part of all of our families.

At the time, I really did not understand why Margie could not get the type of job that she wanted. I was too young to understand about discrimination, about slurs, about the lack of respect. Later on, I got it…I understood… and I was heartbroken over the treatment that Margie might have received away from our neighborhood. How could this happen? Why? Margie was the best person and the smartest person and the most caring person.

After I finished college and started working, I still thought about Margie and I vowed to treat anyone I met with the respect they deserved. Margie was the impetus for my viewpoints about cultural awareness as well as direct and unbiased fairness to everyone. During the years that I taught in Title I schools with languages, customs, ideas, backgrounds vastly different than my own…I often thought about Margie. She taught me to be open-minded.

Many years later when I was in graduate school, one of my professors told us our assignment for the class that very evening. We would have just thirty minutes to write about something that changed our lives and made an impact on how we lived our current lives. We would share our papers with the rest of the class before we dismissed.

That night, I wrote the following poem for Margie. A true story that means so much to me. I have saved a copy of the poem in my desk since that class…just in case I ever need a reminder about acceptance and kindness and dedication.

 

**********************************

A Poem About Margie

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive.

I guess the job was the only way to survive.

Now I know how the world treated her,

When people referred to her with a slur.

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive

To iron my dresses I guess helped her survive.

For years she cooked and put bows in my hair.

I didn’t know and didn’t understand her despair.

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive.

To make fancy cakes was a way to survive.

She laughed with my mother over coffee each day.

She was the best friend ever, my Mom would say.

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive.

She needed money so her family could survive,

In the tiny house sitting on dirt with not much light.

I saw it when we took her a birthday gift one night.

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive.

Her daughter went to California just to survive.

I don’t know how she said that so sad good-bye.

People were fair out west she said with a sigh.

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie rode the bus to West Glenn Drive.

How would we do without her? How would we survive?

Times were better, she said with a confident air.

Margie, don’t leave, oh please don’t you dare!

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie didn’t ride the bus again to West Glenn Drive.

I grew up and away and I guess we did survive.

Please come to my wedding, I said in a quick letter.

To have you with me, why nothing could be better!

 

     I saw you near the back row of the church.

     My eyes finally met yours after a quick search.

     Oh your hat was so pretty and gloves so right.

     The last time I saw you was that happy night.

 

Margie, when you rode that bus to West Glenn Drive

Did we do more than just help your family survive?

Did we treat you with kindness? Did we show you our love?

I surely hope we did. That’s my earnest prayer to God above.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/slur/

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6 thoughts on “A Poem About Margie and Tricia.

    • Thank you so much! Yes…I do have some wonderful memories of Margie. I moved to Fort Worth right after we married in 1976. My husband was already working here in DFW after finishing college and we are still here! I sent Christmas cards and letters to her as well as an announcement when our son was born two years later. I tried to visit with her when we would go back home to visit. Sadly, she died in 1983 at only 62 years old…our daughter was born after we lost Margie so she did not get to know her. Thank you again for your very nice comment…I had to write the poem so quickly in that class…I thought that readers would think of it as random!

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      • That’s a shame she died so young. I’m glad you stayed in touch until then. We had a sweet Black lady named Dora when growing up. I thought of her while reading your poem. I was never close the way you were, but she was a precious lady.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is very sad! Margie had so much to offer the world if just given the chance! We lost my Mom and Dad two years later…exactly six weeks apart. Sometimes times are just difficult, but you have to find your smile again and know that God has a plan for us!

        Liked by 1 person

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