songs without melody

July 22, 2009, 2:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

When you live in a place long enough, you get to know it better than you know yourself. If the good Lord struck me blind today, I know every wall, every floorboard, every piece of furniture, and every nigger in this house. So if God wills to strike me blind, well, I’ll be just fine then. But if God took Celia away? Wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Celia, the color of walnuts, and the only ways to know she’s old are her wrinkly hands and her slow gait. She’s been on this earth a good time; Lord knows what I’d do without her. It was she my mama gave me for my wedding; this woman my mother loved, who laughed and said “I learned you how to be a woman, and I learned your mama how to be a wife, so I reckon I can do the same for you.” It was she who taught me about my delicate parts, why they would stain with blood and it was she who told me what to do when Tom and I would be together, chiding my blushing because it was “just natural and how you gonna keep him when you embarrassed like that?”   It was she who ran me bath after bath after Tom betrayed me, who brushed my hair and told me I’d be all right, that women go through a lot in life; she who held me like she did 20 years ago that day when I lost all illusion. All her lessons couldn’t stop him from wandering, hard as she tried, we tried. He, the color of old paper and pale urine, that mud colored nigger woman, and that little one something in between. Little red headed mulatto girl the last thing we need around here anyway.  Niggers already want too much; lazy ones come up to the overseer with the gall to ask him for a pass to see their “wives” on the next farm when the harvest has been going much too slow for all that. And that’s just ordinary niggers–Tom gives that child too much for her to ever make a good house servant or field hand. I reckon all that child’ll be good for is laying down like her mama did. I’d sell her away, sell the little wretch and her mother away, but Tom doesn’t listen to me like that, wouldn’t even if I laid with him, I know. Everyone knows redheads are a strong minded; Lord knows I do.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i ❤ this. seriously. you have an exceptional grasp of voice.

Comment by slb

I can see right now, I’ll be back for more and checking in on this… I’m intrigued and I’d love to see how it turns out as you write the additions. Welcome back, writer.

Comment by trEmaine

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