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Rated: E · Fiction · Research · #1902489
Post civil war-reflection of colored family member burial.
Sweat was beaded on Washington’s forehead by the time the mules were harnessed. He took off the tattered brown stained straw hat and wiped his wrinkled black face with a blue bandanna.

He put the twist of chewing tobacco back in the side pocket of his freshly pressed old overalls; they’d be time enough for that later. Today he was hauling the most precious cargo of his life. “Get up Jeb, come on Molly"

The wagon tracks were soon wiped out by the bare feet of the small children who followed behind their parents, they had on their newest clean clothes.

Old Blue brought up the rear; somehow the old dog knew what was going on, for he held his head low.

A flock of gray pigeons passed overhead as the sweet words of Swing Low Sweet Chariot softly drifted upwards from the voices of a hundred people. The wagon followed the well-worn trail around the side of the small hill.

Momma been right about the war. Once it was over, most of the slaves left. He wanted to leave too, but she sat him down and asked? Where you going to go? What you going to do? You don’t know nothin else.          

Momma and a few other folks stayed after the master promised to build them some decent cabins. Dang if Momma didn’t get a real wood floor, one of them glass windows and a front porch.

Turned out she did most of the birthin' in the county through the years. Weren’t nobody didn’t know Granny Julip.

He could see the cluster of oak trees up ahead. They were green and fresh from a stray shower that had passed through early that morning.

The log cabin was leaning a little bit to the side, one porch post had slipped through the rotten wood, letting the porch droop, and some of the glasses had fallen out of the only window in the cabin.

A rusted out wash tub hung on a nail, by the chimney rocks. Small scrub cedars hid the hen house from view and it was hard to see where a path had once been.

He looked towards the loosely hanging front door and for just a minute he could see Momma standing on the porch watching for the boss man’s wagon to come to take him, Momma, and his two older sisters to the fields.

Three of Bojo’s oldest boys stood next to one of the large oak trees in the shade, their shovels leaning against the tree. They were looking out across the long rows of cotton that went almost to the master’s large white house about a mile away.

Small white clouds dotted the blue sky, like stretched out cotton balls, honeysuckle vines were interwoven in the faded split rail fence, their fragrance hung heavy across the open grass.

Washington stopped the mules just past Granny Julip’s final resting place; it was time to say a final farewell to Momma.          

After all, the rest had said their farewells and left and the last shovelful of dirt had been smoothed out. He took out the folded pieces of paper from the pocket of his faded Sunday shirt and tacked Granny’s freed papers to the small wooden cross.

Today she was free for the second time. He placed a small bundle of wild flowers on the grave and wiped his eyes after saying goodbye.

“Come on Jeb, Molly, the Master be needing his wagon.”


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