Rosemond Crown is Not British by Gabrielle Wilkosz

The wisest woman I ever knew was twenty-two

She slept in the room next to mine

She wove the daily news

(Car accidents, shootings, bombings)

She braided hair for bread

(Friends, strangers, church-family)

Her hands shook with arthritis,

her belly trembled when she laughed

Sierra Leonean Mother Mary

When I complained about selfish things,

She didn’t meet my eyes

This was the greatest gift.