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  • Oscar Brown, Jr.


When you asked me if I knew her and I said I did, I lied

Surely I'd have spoken truer had I said, instead, "I tried"

My companion and my helpmate, holy angel she has been

But I've seen her too at hell's gate, sweetly ushering me in

She was introduced as "Mamma" Daddy's dear devoted spouse

As I bowed into this drama in which they were playing house

I, of course, was Mamma's baby and the apple of her eye

All I needed Mamma gave me, all I had to do was cry

It was sweet the way she kissed me; held me softly to her breast

Offered wisdom to assist me, because Mamma knows what's best

Lucky new arrivals, groping, find a woman always there

Sacrificing, praying, hoping, giving tender loving care

It was on her love I counted and with her I could consult

For direction as I mounted the long ladder marked "adult"

It was Mamma who was woman first, then aunts and grandma's,too

Over half this race called human; every sister that I knew

And the little friends and neighbors with the ribbons and the curls

Who bestow those special favors that can only come from girls

Tender objects of affection and custodians of joys

That require a man's protection and attention from the boys

Woman also was a scolder and a gossip and a nag

Who quite often growing older hopped into a shopping bag

Full of massive contradictions with a mind quite quick to change

With her woman's intuition and a logic I've found strange

She awoke my primal urging and provoked it into lust

That sent all the juices surging through my system with great thrust

She becomes life's main attraction as she put on me a hex

Born of biologic action, centered deep within her sex

And I grew up to discover all the holy angel charms

She could lay upon a lover in the heaven of her arms

She could make herself receptive to my pressures and my pleas

And then prove to be deceptive and inclined to be a tease

She could listen to the lying, silly sentences I said

In my desperation trying to seduce her into bed

And then seeming to surrender, she could slyly take command

Through some genius in her gender I will never understand

For the fact is, my successes in predicting what she'd do

Have been largely second-guesses, plus a lucky hunch or two

I've been bested by her brilliance, by her talent, by her tact

She's shown strength and great resilience; often courage that I lacked

She has bowed and plowed and planted helped to haul the heavy load

As she persevered and panted down an often lonesome road

She has conquered and confused me; found me easy to outsmart

And 'twas she who introduced me to my lonesome broken heart

By the blues she's had me haunted, hung up, unsatisfied

With my love refused, unwanted, injured ego, wounded pride

Ahh, but if she's done me dirty, sure I've dealt her much the same

Been unfaithful, false and flirty, hard to hold and tough to tame

Phony as a wooden nickel, I've been frequently unkind

Undependable and fickle, often difficult to find

But she's found me; made me chase her; had me horny, hot to go

Turned me to a money waster, blowing my good hard-earned dough

Giving kisses in profusion, she's played economic games

That amount to prostitution although known by different names

And manipulating muscles cradled coyly in the crotch

She has worked some money hustles that were wonderful to watch

She has had me, saint and sinner, mixed up in all sorts of deals

Just to be once more within her and to know how good that feels

She has brought me peace and comfort; taught me how to be serene

But when she's felt moved to some sort of revenge she's proven mean

And this fascinating mixture of serenity and strife

Is the most important fixture in the structure of my life

I can buddy with a fellow and his company is fine

But a woman who is mellow makes companionship divine

When she reappeared as mother, the receiver of my seed

We were loving one another to fulfill our common need

Both a party to the sharing of the suffering and fun

In the beauty of her bearing me a daughter and a son

And she came again as daughter, daddy's darling angel child

Full of charms her nature taught her by which I could be beguiled

Wrapped around her little finger, woman often has inspired

Me to do my best to bring her anything her heart desired

Because images projected of a man who's strong and wise

Mean their most when they're reflected in the mirror of her eyes

And confirmed by her devotions, to be crowned by her caress

Makes the most of my emotions though I readily confess

When you asked me if I knew her and I said I did, I lied

Surely I've have spoken truer had I said, instead, "I tried"

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