|I’m Goin’ to See My Mother
by Lester Allyson Knibbs
(formerly Hakeem Muhammad)
“Turn on the light, Mabel.”
“Where is that light? … Oh, there it is! … Goodness gracious! What are you doing on the floor, Walter? You should be in the bed!”
“Mabel. You knocked me out of the bed. That’s why I’m on the floor.”
“Knocked you out of the bed? Why would I do that?”
“I guess you must of been dreaming.”
“Dreaming? … Oohh, yes! … Dreaming! And what a dream it was! Now Walter, you just get up off that floor and let me tell you about this dream.”
“Just a minute, Mabel. … Umph. Not as easy as it sounds. At our age, you don’t ‘just get up off the floor.’ It’s a bit of work. … Ah. … Oop. … OK. I’m ready.”
“Ready as I can be!”
“Well! … I was on one of those big brand new interstate buses, going to see my mother. And the whole bus was full of us women, going to see our mothers.
“The sky was deep blue, with beautiful white fluffy clouds, and the sun was shining bright. I was wearing my favorite pink, blue and yellow flowery dress, and everything was wonderful.
“We were so happy! We were clapping and singing that old song: ‘I’m goin’ to see my mother. I’m goin’ to see my mother. I’m goin’ to see my mother. In the heav’nly land.’ Clapping and singing. Clapping and singing.
“Then the sun set, and we fell asleep.
“When we woke up, it was dark and the bus had stopped. And we were underground. … Under the ground!