Friday, May 25, 2012

Just a 'lil somthin'

This is something I've been itching to write for a bit now, and I figured a sunny day with thunder was better than any other day to do it. Thoughts?


     Summer’s been hot this year, more so than usual, and humid. I ain’t complained much, but this heat’ll be the death of me ‘fore long. It’as the death of her, why ain’t it gonna be the death of me too? I reckon it ain’t odd, though, nawee, it ain’t odd at all. She’d been a-waitin’ and a-beggin’ to go, and everone knew it’as comin’ when she went to bed. She ain’t never set a whole day in bed, not since she’as a baby at least.
     Tain’t no surprise to any of us, I guess, tain’t no surprise at all.
     Course there weren’t much to do ‘bout it. She said she’as a-ready and so she was. The doctor’as called, but he said there weren’t nothin’ he could do, nawee, there ain’t nothin’ he coulda done to make her better. She said she’as a-ready and so she was.
     “Cooper, you better get them chickens inta the barn,” Paw yells into the backyard. Cooper don’t respond, he just stares at the coffin as it’s bein’ hoisted into the back of a wagon – ready for burial. “There’s a storm a comin’ and there ain’t no man who thinks it’s more misfortunate than me,” Paw scoops feed into a bag. Cooper don’t look at him he just keeps a-starin’ at the coffin. “A’ight, Coop, get them chickens inta the barn.” Cooper stares at the coffin.
    I reckon he’ll be okay, Maw always had a soft spot for Jeb, everone knew that, but it’as Coop that she talked to. She didn’t regularly talk to none of us, but Coop could always get a kind word from her. I dunno what it’as that he did to get the words from her, but he could for sure better’an any of us.


     Sometimes I find myself outside in the barn at night. I like it out there: nice breeze, cool air, it’s nice. Not tonight. Tonight there’s a storm a-coming and we gotta get everthin’ ready for the burial ‘fore that happens. Maw said, she said she wanted to be buried next to Paw, unfortunately he ain’t dead yet so we're puttin’ her in the family plot by herself. I reckon we don’t care much, Maw always said, she said she didn’t want us to be crying at her time instead we should focus on gettin’ her into the ground so we could plow the fields the next day. I don’t reckon any of us woulda been cryin’ anyhow, Maw was good, but she weren’t no maw like the Johnsons had. Their maw always had a nice word to say and a sweet thing to offer, but not our maw, she weren’t like that at all.
     Maw was matter-a-fact if nothin’ else. She cared about little except makin’ sure we had somethin’ to eat and somethin’ to pay for it with. I reckon that was good enough, ‘cause ain’t none of us starved.

     I knew Maw like most other’s didn’t. I knew she had a soft spot for Jeb, but I never knew why. I reckon it don’t matter much, because despite that soft spot I was still the only one that got to set and talk to her, and understand her.
     I knew Maw like none other could. I knew it, I felt it when she was goin’, I felt it. I told the air, I said, “she’s gone now,” and so she is. She’s nailed in a coffin settin’ behind me in a wagon.
     The road ahead is dusty as the air swirls around in great sweeping heaps. It picks up the dust and we ride through a sweaty cloud. Colt an’ I’ll be browner than dirt by the time we get home. Either that or soaked through.
     “She’s gone, Colt,” I say, he nods in my direction, “Did you feel it when she went, Colt, did you feel it?”
     “Calm down, Coop, the old thing’s barely dead in her grave, so don’t go tellin’ me ya can feel her already.”
     “I can’t feel her no more, Colt, I can’t feel her no more. She’s barely dead in her grave and I can’t feel her no more.”
     “Tain’t to be ‘spected, I reckon. S’alright, Coop, s’alright. I reckon ya won’t be feelin’ her no more at all.”
     “I kinda wish I could, Colt, I kinda wish I could.”
     “Yer the oddest one outta the pack, ain’t ya, Coop?”
     “Tain’t a bad thing to be odd, I just wish I could feel her still.”
     “Well, ya ain’t never gonna feel her again, she’s barely dead in her grave but ya ain’t never gonna feel her again.”
     “I kinda wish I could, Colt, I kinda wish I could.”
     “Well ya better stop that wishin’, Coop, ‘cause tain’t gonna happen. Ya ain’t never gonna feel her again.”
     “I still kinda wish I could, Colt.”


     She’s a-gone. She’s a-headin’ down the road to be ‘posited in big, dank, hole in the earth. And she’s a-gone. My wife, she’s a-gone.


     Drivin’ wagons ain’t somethin’ that I particularly enjoy. Mostly I like ridin’ horses for what they are – free-spirited animals that ain’t meant to be hitched to anytin’, we got mules for that. But Maw, Maw said she wanted to be taken to the grave lead by horses, so here we are, drivin’ the team an’ tryin’ to beat a storm. Tain’t ‘xactly what I want to be doin’ right now, but I reckon it’s gotta be done. After all, Maw can’t sit out in the rain in just her coffin, that wouldn’t be no good.
     “I reckon that storms gonna hit us ‘fore we get back.”
     “I reckon so, Colt, I reckon so. I wish it weren’t, but I reckon so.”
     “Yeh-up, it’s a-gonna get us.”
     “Least we won’t be dirty gettin’ home.”
     “I reckon wet through’s better than dusty and hot.”
     “I reckon.”
     Yeh-up, I sure do hate drivin’ the team. The clouds are beginnin’ to meet the ground ahead of us. It looks like Maw’ll have to undergo a little wet, but I reckon she won’t care much – after all, she died on a storm day.

    “Well, here we go,” was all that preceded Cooper an’ I fillin’ in the hole. When it was finally done Coop was cryin’ and we were both of us covered in mud.
     “S’alright, Coop, s’alright,” I reckon there weren’t much more I could say to a fella without it being odd. So I clapped him on the back and urged him back into the wagon.
     “I kinda miss her, Colt, I can’t feel her no more.”
     “I reckon ya ain’t gonna feel her again, Coop.”
     “I kinda wish I could, Colt, I kinda wish I could.”