Legacy

Nejla Gaylen

Hail the glorious knight of the cast iron skillet
who knew how to chase down a yard bird and kill it
never missing a feather
for the most tender meat ever
don’t need buttermilk for this just salt pepper flour
grab a grocery bag and shake it all together

She crafts a bountiful feast and makes a beautiful picture
at her stove getting high off of life and pot liquor
hand-whipped yolks can be brutal
in a process that’s feudal
but worth her rich mac and cheese with buttercream
two parts sharp cheddar and one part noodle

Countless hours at her side I tried as hard as I could
yet could not match how she made everything taste so damn good
which might seem a bit tragic
when really it’s all magic
that she makes when she shakes Lawry’s creole seasoning
and a dash of her love while she’s at it

This knight, queen and wizard all rolled into one
effortlessly pulled sword from stone
she slew fiery dragons
in and out of the kitchen
put the collards cornbread and fried chicken on the table
bowed her head and said Jesus wept. Amen.

Nejla Gaylen is originally from Detroit but has recently returned to her longtime home of Atlanta from the wilds of West Cork, Ireland. After years of working in business and finance, she moved to Ireland as part of her transition from creative mathematician to creative writer. She writes poetry, memoir, and fiction and has been published in Cork Words.

Issue 2

Are you a Black author interested in having your work published in the Awake? Complete your submission here.