Ran away negro woman Mary, 26, ordinary, lost front teeth; speaks French and English; has child six months old with her. intimate with negro William, both have long time relations with negro fishermen at the Bayou. reward Twenty Dollars bring her back
From the ruined house at the end of the dirt road, he came out of the dark to our campfire. Roasting marshmallows, we pull the crispy, tender brown from the soft white center. Colors explode, showering sparks down over the lake. Fourth of July we watched fireworks from my father’s high rise fortress on the river. A sepia photograph of the woman in gauzy, off the shoulder evening wear, lying in the alley, wet in the melting March snow. Two houses and the church burned to the ground that year. Nothing left but ashes.
Sandy colored, he came like some lost ancestor out of the dark. Sparks flying from the fire.
It was a hot Georgia summer day. As my husband drove off, we hollered and yelled trying to get his attention. To no avail, he disappeared over the hill.
My granddaughter and I were barefooted, our cell phones inside, it would be evening beforehe returned. he returned.
We drank from the hose and sat on orange buckets and a pile of bricks. Considered walking to a neighbor’s and using their phone to call for help. But the asphalt was burning up, the neighbors were still strangers, we knew nobody’s numbers.
Being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we soaked our feet in the orange buckets.
When it started to rain, we stood under the roof overhang. Such relief when Ayanna came home early and saved us.
Through the house, past dead ants, dusty floors and bookcases overfull with books and games and more dust.
I push the neglected can of prayer requests in front of the door to hold it open.
The warm air outside makes the house feel cool. Stepping outside, I smell bacon.
The cicadas are singing. I walk through an invisible thread of spider silk strung across the drive.
On the cement, tiny ants are busy. Behind the crack in the pavement, and the poke bush, the hydrangea has a pink flower.
Near the mailbox, I pick up a yellow leaf and a small red one. I leave the pecans lie. Next door the neighbor’s lawn is as neatly groomed as mine is not. English ivy, elaeagnus and trees grow at will over here.
A car goes by. Through the newly trimmed bushes I see my wild yard.