The Wordy Wench is the essence of me and my big mouth.

As a kid, I grew up with a boisterous Black woman for a mother, one who laughed loudly and spoke pointedly (and still does frankly). As her daughter and fellow Virgo sun, I inherited her big mouth against my will.

When my aunt, my mother’s sister, would come to visit for holidays, the two shared the kitchen, taking turns warming tin foil pans of macaroni and cheese, rolls, or lasagna in and out of the oven. My mother, being the elder to my aunt, was never shy about giving my aunt The Business — taunting and teasing as older sisters do. And to this day, my aunt will playfully (sometimes, angrily) hiss at my mom “Ooh, you wench!

Now, it should be noted that she uses the Black pronunciation of this word, that being way-nch. I hear the name ring in my ears, and see my aunt’s disgruntled scowl in my head. She loves her sister, that much I know is true. And yet sometimes, when my mom’s tongue was a little too sharp, that word would come out.

I think about all of the times my mother told me as a teen and young adult that I had a “smart ass mouth.” Assertions that I didn’t know anything as a means to try to demean me into submission to her demands. Classic problematic parent stuff, you know. And yet, as an adult, my mother now consistently recognizes the ways in which my intelligence, my articulation, my smart ass mouth continues to educate her. In the heat that creates the popcorn, there is yet a kernel of truth at the center of each delicious morsel.

Writing is the artistic medium I use to express myself. And yeah, sometimes I say things that may make others uncomfortable. That’s the kindness in me.

So am I a wench? A wench who loves words? Yeah…yeah I guess I am.