Ma’s Story- In an itchy old dress and a plastic tiara, at the age of 16 I married my fella, in the amen pew my own old Ma cried, and that night we danced, danced under the moon,and down the steps to the dockside. Albion lifted me over the night sky , down the steps to the dockside.
I never envisioned such different children, when I produced Alice and six years later Godfrey.Albion named Alice after a neighborhood scold, and Godfrey for reasons he alone knew, and true to form never told.
Albion was lazy, aimless, work shy, Godfrey’s dad for some reason found everything funny…and until the day I stopped laughing too, we always got by…And yes we danced we danced under the night sky.
Why you ask? did I yell at Godfrey. Why do mountains fall and beets grow? Four things for Godfrey were predicted at birth, good things Midwife and that spitting nurse both believed. But I stepped in a cow-pat, a fresh nasty cow-pat dancing under the stars the night he was conceived.
He was funny and a charmer too much like his larrikin dad, but oh the stories that lad would tell one day, the places Godfrey would see, and that summer morning I danced holding Godfrey, and though brand new I swear he looked right up at me…and I felt a great sadness, this odd little person was every thing I’d never be.
ODD LITTLE BOY- He stirred up the sand fleas with a stick, to the adults dismay, tripped over oyster shells twice in one day, he landed hard. He got crumbs in the drink jug, and sand in the mustard , he gagged on warm dregs of snitched parental beer,(as I did with old Style) He stretched out in the shade behind a log to be alone for awhile.
Cousins play and cavort, Aunts and Uncles snort and whisper. Well you know, he has always been considered “odd” He sees the pity in the stares , at his quiet ways, how he plays away off by himself. They mutter at the silly hat Ma makes him wear. Every family has one I suppose, loudly proclaims Uncle Lou, bellicose, so glad my kids are not one of those.
He has buried himself in the sand behind a log , it is warm and full of glittery bits of shells and polished stone..looking up at the summer sky happy in his exile-odd little boy on his own.
MA’S STORY- FROM HIS WAKE-( With thanks to the T.C. Writing Contest Judges) Soaking wet and charming,barefoot. Held still only by the frame of a black and white photo, written on the back of it your name.
Godfrey age of one- 1952 holiday in the sun. You were quick to laugh, strong and sturdy as you learned to walk and run. By the mess on your face it is obvious you have been eating sand. warm up at the campfire you press against my arm , a dead crab for me in your sticky hand. Sunset is amber over the harbor. The tide is in obscuring Dragon’s Bay rock jagged and black.
You are the type of child born to roam, a child of the tide never to be contained or held back. Damp and heavy on my lap you sleep all the way home. Idly I trace, every feature of your beloved face.
Today I dusted a black and white photo of you, running barefoot, held still only by the frame- written on the back of it your name, Godfrey, age of one, 1952 holiday in the sun…