During the current legal challenges and heated debates over several states new, rigid anti-immigration laws (pending), I have been reminded over and over that we all (especially us Southern “church ladies” would not know what to think about other people all around them, all the time, everyday, in every setting, without including thoughts that fit every definition of PROFILING!   This has disturbed my inner balance more than I would like with pangs of sadness and disappointment in my “ladies”.    WHY DO WE NE–EE–EEEE–EEED TO CLASSIFY OTHERS IN OUR OWN MINDS?  Why is that such a seeming requisite?  Well, I think it is a whole lot of insecurity, a whole lot of secret unnecessary fear, a tad(?) of smugness, and a tad of needing to “pray aloud on the street corners”.  So, I felt much better after lunching at my favorite church lady’s establishment(she projects not one whit of a profiling attitude!) and observing the following:


The Mohawk-cut struts with his cute, well-toned

          young self amonst the

Hair-sprayed lunchers

          clean in his


         rip-sleeved tee,

Careful to swivel

         away from each and every

Lifted sweet-tea and Diet Pepsi’

          leaning on the counter so lithely

To pick up his mama’s order

         while many $60.00 tinted heads

Oh so pucker-lipped gaze most carefully

         down on their barely touched salads.

His mama had ordered the cornbread

          and collard greens and a whole

Chocolate Sin layer cake, the same as I

         had taken for my mother-in-law’s birthday!

Guess which parts of the above scene perked me up the most!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 11:06:48

    I love the contrast – the mohawked young man picking up his mama’s HONEST order among the $60 tinted heads (such lack of pretense!) And of course I especially like that his mom ordered the Chocolate Sin layer cake, but I digress… 🙂 This poem is wonderful on so many levels!

    • granbee
      Nov 11, 2011 @ 03:40:50

      Bless you, Betty, for your insightful and kind comments. The eye-witnessed contrasts I described here truly helped me get past useless anger at the constant mental profiling on the part of so many around me recently. Yes, I live in Alabama: go figure! But, I am “not from around here”, go figure! P.S. Even my nother-in-law enjoyed that Chocolate Sin layer cake provided for her birthday last year!

  2. Liliana Negoi
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 16:14:05

    mental profiling of those around us is something that simply comes with the environment. many people simply do what society expects them to do in order to not be judged. most of us simply do not have the courage and pride to be themselves. personally, i find that to be quite a sad thing
    excellent poem! and i bet that cake is a marvel 🙂

    • granbee
      Nov 15, 2011 @ 02:52:42

      Yes, the cake is always a marvel, everytime my friend makes it! I am intrigued that you not only see courage being required to just “be” but also pride? I would love to hear more about this!

  3. asoulwalker
    Nov 15, 2011 @ 04:40:50


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