He knows I’m not ready, but he asks me anyway. Love won’t deny him a second time, not while he sits on bended knee, not while his family surrounds us at the dinner table, their hands clasped together ready to applaud.
“You are my world, my light. I can’t live another second without knowing you’ll be my wife,” he recites. He was never that great of a poet, but his mother and sisters awww on cue.
“Honey, you know I love you with all my heart—”
“That’s a yes!” His mother shouts. I suppose she’ll expect beans in that oven next — I, her only hope for grandchildren; her three eldest daughters yet to find loving husbands.
The table and surrounding diners erupt with congratulations; the waiter brings Pinot noir on the house.
He jumps up to kiss my face, slides the diamond down my trembling finger.
Join Moral Mondays, a new weekly challenge to write a 100-word fable or story based on the moral/lesson provided in the prompt. This past week’s moral: listen before you speak
I show the ring. He sucks his teeth.
Calls his ol’ bloodhound, Ralph,
shoulders the .22 caliber, Bertha.
Speaks. We’s goin’ ‘coon huntin’.
I imagine him chasing black
men up trees in hooded sheets,
the hounds howling as he lassoes
a noose around the coons’ neck for
lusting after his lil’ darlin’.
Strung up on branches, bodies
dangling over dogs as they lick
stiff, purple toes like berries.
I swallow hard. Georgia is not
as color-blind as my Maryland.
Is this a mistake? Is loving her
worth my life? He grins, revealing
darkened gums. You’s ’bout my size,
he says to my feet, gives me a dirty
pair of boots. Waits in the pickup.
The darkness fails to hide my fear.
Ralph sniffs it in my perspiration.
He yelps. Go get ’em, boy!
Chain drops. I run blindly,
tripping over roots, scraping my
knees on shrubs, my face on
low-hanging branches. Light-beams
from his flashlight streak across
my back. I crouch behind a stump.
Ralph’s barks rattle my eardrums.
I gotcha, rascal! A single shot.
The leaves ruffle. The trunks vibrate.
A thump on the ground. My heart sinks.
‘Ol boy, you shat yourself? I stand,
legs like jelly. The black and white striped
tail, the bandit’s mask, inside a cage.
He bends backwards, laughing, cracking
his back, slapping my shoulder,
echoing through the hollow woods:
Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise,
you have my blessin’.
Poem sound familiar? I wrote it last year for a #frapalymo prompt. Brain’s too fried to think of anything new, unfortunately, but I thought it worked for today’s BlaPoWriMo prompt.
If you’d like to participate, just include the tag BlaPoWriMo so I can find you, or the hashtag #BlaPoWriMo on twitter to get a retweet (live feed in the side bar). Check out February is Black Poetry Writing Month for details on the project.
Happy Writing! 😀