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Friday, July 20, 2012

Poem For Miss Sylvia (Who Lived and Cooked and Smiled… and We Were Glad)



Sylvia Woods ~ 1926-2012

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Photobucket


I remember Sylvia’s
Soul Food Restaurant
The way a small kid’s taste buds
Remember deliciousness, and
I recall Harlem-brown women
Stirring, boiling, baking, sweatin’
In tiny kitchens, preparing
Ambrosia with heaping helpings of
Love. I remember Sylvia’s

Soul Food Restaurant
In the colorful sway and easy flaunt of
Black people,
Brown, white, yellow and
Rainbow people
Getting a serious grub on…
You see, Miss Sylvia could
So easily charm ‘em and then
Her food could
Disarm ‘em with harmony.

I remember Miss Sylvia’s
Soul Food Restaurant
Like a flash of some celebrity’s
Sparkle in my
Left eye, and the sweet
Sound of Gospel
Music in my right ear.


Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Fix, here!

Southern fried chicken,
Smothered chops
Cornbread and grits
Sassy Catfish and collards
Macaroni and cheese
Sweet potato pound cake
And please, don’t even
Get me started on
Miss Sylvia’s Banana Puddin’

Laws Ham Merrrrrrcyyyy!

When I heard she’d passed
I felt saddened, like the rest
Of Harlem… and the world at large.
But then I just know now
The angels must chowin’ down
Getting their grub on
Their wings growing heavier
Lips bustin', eyes rollin,
With traces of
Heaven upon their tongues.

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!


We, who have witnessed
Her smile, or tasted
Her menu…
We thank you, so much
Miss Sylvia…
For whether young or old
Rich or poor, you have
Served and fed generations
And more…

The time has come to remove
Your apron, to loosen those strings,
To let them know you were
"The Queen
Of Soul Food..." as you
Sit down with kings
At the table before your
Heavenly Host.
And you can grin
That shy, Miss Sylvia grin…
And it’s okay to boast
How we on earth say your name
With smiles… and think of
The treasure you’ve given to Harlem
And think of the pleasure you’ve given
The world.

See, it’s called: leaving behind
A Legacy.
Photobucket

Not bad, for a colored girl
From South Carolina with
Some Soul
Food recipes and
A dream.


Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!

Surry down, get your
Stoned Soul Food Fix!





One.

14 comments:

WynnSong said...

Beautiful and inspiring as always.....
Letting her Legacy live on.....

Anna Renee said...

A beautiful poem Lin! It's gorgeous and delicious! A very fitting tribute to a beautiful soulfood sister!

Roger Poladopoulos said...

A true and inspiring example of following your dream until it becomes a reality. I never dined in her restaurant although I've read about it in novels and know some people who rave about her meals for years after they've eaten there.

Curious said...

As much as I had heard that Sylvia's was the place be and to have, I have never been to Sylvia's. I never even thought that Sylvia was a real person, that there would be a real person who cared about what was served in her name. To me Sylvia was just the name over the window of a restaurant, a tourist trap to be avoided if you wanted to make sure you had enough money to make the mortgage payment at the end of the month. I think now, I may have been wrong. Lost opportunities, another regret when they list the events of my life at its end.

Thanks for allowing me just a glimpse of the flavor that was Sylvia.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Wynn,

Yes, indeed, my friend. Her legacy, along w/ her recipe's will live on. I think the family will see to it.


One.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Anna Renee:

Thanks, Anna May. If only you ever rolled thru Harlem & sampled her spot, you'd KNOW just how 'gorgeous & delicious' Miss Sylvia's food really was! Some grocery chains sell canned versions of it. But that doesn't really compare to the original dining experience.


One.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Roger:

It's ironic has often modern literature mentions Sylvia's Soul Food Restaurant. In fact, it gets a worthy mention in my own upcoming tome.

And trust me, generations of people have raved about her food for a DAMN GOOD reason!


One.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Curious:

Yes, my Brotha. Miss Sylvia was an actual factual, living, breathing, smiling human being, & a very sweet person to boot. She made it her business to greet the customers & to give that personal touch, & it made dining at her place seem even more intimate.

I'm sorry you missed that experience, but you can still sample her menu because the restaurant continues to thrive. Try it. You won't be sorry!


One.

iAmA gaYte-keeper said...

LOVE what you give us here, such an inspiration!

Moanerplicity said...

@ Gayte-keeper:

Thanks, mane. Sometimes inspiration is a gift that keeps on giving.



One.

Vivi McCray said...

We all loved her. She was a beautiful being and is truly missed. Thank you for the poem.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Vivi:

Thank YOu for visiting & for feeling the poem. Yes, indeed, Miss Sylvia is most definitely missed. Meanwhile, she & her legacy will NEVER be forgotten.


One.

Daij said...

Love this!

Moanerplicity said...

Thanks, Daij.

One.