i had moved back down home
from the meanness of the city

a stranger in my own place of birth
red clay reinforcing i was now on mars

a trip to the general store
was necessary for provisions

much to my over-the-counter dismay
the cashier explained in native tongue
that they didn’t accept my fancy credit card

that’s when a twenty dollar bill
materialized passing by my shoulder

i turned around to find
the good samaritan coming to my rescue was
uncle ronnie’s wife

my sweet aunt bernice

her hair longer than i’d ever seen it
in my lifetime
black streaked with silver
just like mine

she had never looked more beautiful
wearing a smile

and the fine woman she is
to this day
refuses to let me repay her that twenty