In my childhood I discovered words that stomp and stare and crush and collapse and boogie and bang and scream and squeal and laugh and croak and crackle and twirl. In the kitchen with my mother and my grandmother I came in contact with words that scald and burn and blister and broil and and simmer and fry and roast and steam and knead. Awkward and trying to fit in during my early teens, I collected hunky-dory words and okey-dokey words and diddly-squat words. I picked up I-don’t-give-a-damn words and holy shit words. From a woman who worked with alongside me stringing tobacco during the summers, a woman whose husband had packed his bags and left her for another woman, I learned words like slut and sloozy and tramp and hussy and Jezebel and nymphomaniac. I’m drawn to nonsensical words such as razzle-dazzle, phony baloney, and hanky panky. I like words that don’t give a hoot. I like ain’t and reckon and holy moses. I like sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, and straitlaced words. I like holy ghost words and sanctified words. I like lord have mercy, kiss-my-ass, and go to hell. I like words that speak in tongues and pull down the spirit. I like words that smell of honeysuckle and rain, words that carry the scent of my daughter’s shampoo and my son’s cologne. I like words that coo and suckle and babble. I’m a woman who writes, and I like words.
~~~ Brenda Sutton Rose