by Claire T. Feild

    When he scratched his matted
    gray hair that looked like the
    throw rug on the floor, the only
    reminder in his house of his
    grandmother, the one who
    raised him with the belief
    that he was sweet gold, he
    cried, not the whimper cry of
    a baby, but the hollow cry of
    an adult so buried in his pain
    that even God would put the last
    shovel of dirt on his grave if
    He could.

    But when he looked out the
    dirt-glazed window near the
    straw chair where he moaned,
    numbed by acts of recognition
    that he could have received
    if he had been conceived in
    a less cautious era, he felt
    the heat of the Delta sun's
    back on his body, having
    been ploughed by misery's
    moves, now being embraced
    by the sun's warmth as if the
    "enfant terrible" were sending
    him anew the final feel of
    what he had trod under all
    his life.

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