MAGGIE AND FLOYD
Maggie and her husband, Floyd, lived in our home in an apartment that originally was the attic. The two of them came into my life when I was in the third grade. But for their coming, especially that of Maggie, I probably would not be here right now able to post this message.
You see, my biological parents--both exceptional human beings--were nonetheless utterly miserably married for 35 years. My mother had wanted a divorce early on, but my father threatened her legally, averring that he would make sure she would never see her three children again if she sought a divorce. Mom acquiesced, spending the rest of her life deeply depressed, watching TV by herself in the living room from 7 pm to 1 am, then reading detective stories until 3 am. My father became rich because he became a workaholic, and because he was extremely smart. They had separate bedrooms.
Maggie became my surrogate mother. She fed me breakfast: poached eggs and grits. She washed my clothes. She gave me a spanking when I needed to be spanked. And she gave me a HUGE hug when I needed love. Maggie, you should know, was black and illiterate, neither of which mattered to me because she loved me and showed it until the day she died when I was in my mid-twenties. Floyd and I debated who was better: Mays or Mantle. Maggie and Floyd are why I abhor racism.
God Bless Maggie and Floyd forever.
A graduate of Andover and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard Hawks has been a poet and human-rights advocate his entire adult life. He recently finished his novel, A CHILD FOR AMARANTH.