Archive | June, 2013

Mocean Worker rethinks Nina Simone

22 Jun
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To This Day

22 Jun

My Eyes Be Wide Open

18 Jun

The one hundred percent of you that I can’t have is far more of the you I need.

You know that small tip at the bottom of your heart where everything lands in the end?

I’ll take that part and leave the rest.

I am very selfish, but with you I feel like sharing.

My eyes be wide open and focused on the you I know and crave.

An insatiable thrist is what you have manifested in me.

I cannot venture to far from my you, as I would surely die without long, tall drinks.

There are things about you that I don’t know and what I don’t know won’t kill me, but not knowing you would make death a relief.

I cannot hold anything against you.

 I knew heartbreak was possible.

My eyes couldn’t be more open.

I would have stepped to you even if you were a cliff, I committed the first step and all after.

Before Grits Were Grocery Part V

16 Jun

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After a little while, we all got used having Mackenzie around. She had become part of the family and was treated the same way as the rest of us. She had her chores just me and Casa, but we helped her since she wasn’t really used to doing the things we had to do. Like pulling weeds in mama’s garden or some yard work that daddy had left for us before he went to work. Doing them with Mackenzie seemed to make it not work.

Daddy was outside cutting grass when he stepped into get some ice water from the kitchen. Mama and Mackenzie were in the there cutting up okra for dinner, when out of nowhere Mackenzie asked daddy when her father would be back? It surprised daddy because she never seemed to care where he was, or if he was even coming back up until this point. Daddy not missing a beat replied, “you don’t like living here with us Mac?” “Yes sir, I love it here with you all, and I don’t want to leave that’s why I asked,” Mackenzie said. “Well, when I last talked with the person, you call your father, all he said was he had a lot of business to take care of at the bottom of the ocean,” daddy said. “ROBERT!” Mama shouted. “That’s not funny,” she continued. “Mac don’t you worry, we’ll take good care of you right here until your mother comes for you.”

Summer was almost over, and we were running out of things to do. We chased all the geese away that swan in the pond out back. We messed around with the frogs, tadpoles and crawfish until they became boring. We played all the games we could think of; freeze tag, hide the switch and stuff like that. Not much trouble to get into on a small island that won’t get you killed or worse, yelled at.

Mama was going to Charleston and asked if we wanted to go. She must have seen the desperation in our eyes. “Yes ma,ma” we all said like a choir. We don’t go into town too much, so whenever we get a chance to go it’s always an adventure and we really needed something to do. Mama was gonna go and pay somebody for something, and we decided we would stay behind at the Dairy Queen eating chili dogs and drinking milkshakes until she came back to pick us up. Mama didn’t want a chili dog or a milkshake, something about it going straight to her butt. Whatever, they were delicious. It was a big tree at the back of the Dairy Queen with a bench under it, so we went back there and sat eating our food. “Man do I love me some chili dogs” Casa said. With chili all over the front of his shirt and around his mouth. “Casa, what’s wrong with you, look at your face?” I said to him.

“I can’t see my face Ty, what’s wrong with it?” Casa carried on.

“You got chili all over yourself.” Mackenzie got her napkins and helped Casa clean his face.

“Thank you Mackenzie,” Casa said.

“You know Mac?” “Don’t you say it or I’m gonna smack your face again” said Mackenzie.

“Okay, okay, shoot, it’s true,” said Casa, “I’m gonna make you my wife, I gotta protect you from people” Casa went on. Mackenzie rolled her eyes and took a bite of her chili dog.

Just when we had finished our food and started to run around after each other when Mackenzie spotted her aunt. She yelled to get her attention, and she soon spotted us all back there. She came over with her big hat on and yellow dress with big, black flowers on it. She looked like queen in Black skin. “Hey Ms. Mackenzie, hello boys, what y’all doing over here by yourselves?” She said.

“We came to town with Ms. Lisa. She had to go somewhere and she let us here until she got back.” Mackenzie explained.

“Oh, okay then, well, where is that no-good father of yours little missy?” She asked. “He had to take care of some business at the bottom of the ocean.” Mackenzie replied.

“WHAT!!” Mackenzie’s aunt screeched. Just when she said that mama pulled up, and we all ran toward the truck. “Hey Lisa, how are dear heart?” the lady said.

I’m fine girl, just trying to pay some bills and keep these children out of trouble.” Mama said.

“I asked Mackenzie where her father was and do you know what she told me?” “What?” mama said. “At the bottom of the ocean taking care of some business, what does that mean Lisa?”

“Well, Robert was teasing her when he told Mac that, it meant nothing. Robert is always saying crazy things.” Mama said.

“Oh, well where is he?” The lady said “Robert said he had a lot of work outta of town and would not be able to tkae Mac with him, and wanted us to look after her until he got back.” Mama explained. “I’ll tell you something Lisa, I think bastard is touching that girl and I don’t mean like how a father is supposed to touch his daughter either.” she went on.

“What are you saying?” mama said. “You know what I’m saying, and if I ever find out I swear to god I’m gonna cut his ass up into little pieces.” The lady said angrily.

“And I’ll help you.” Mama told her. “Look, I’m going to see Mac’s mother at the end of this week and I want to take her with me. I’ll call you later and we can work out the details.” “Okay then.” Mama said. “Let me get back home before Robert get’s home, and just give me call.” mama said. “Okay Lisa.

By the time we made it back to the house we were very tired and mama told us to go take a nap. Daddy was home already and was out in the shed doing something as usual. Mama went went back there and walk in the shed and closed the door. “I saw Mac’s aunt in town today.”

“Oh yeah, how is she?” Do you know what Mackenzie told her? No Lisa, what did Mac tell her? She told her that her father was at the bottom of the ocean taking care of some business. So. So!? So?! Are you serious? People are gonna start to wonder where that man is. Lisa. Lisa. Lisa. Nobody is gonna care where that nasty cracka is, not even his own child. Have you ever seen anyone over here looking for him since they moved in over there? No. Have you ever wondered where he was? No. Okay then, trust your husband to take care of this and his family. Daddy gave mama a reassuring kiss on the cheek and a little pat on the butt. Then in the worst Italian mafioso impersonation ever heard anywhere, daddy said, “he sleeps with the fishes tonight.” Mama cracks a smile and starts to walk out, then turns to daddy. Robert? Yes baby. We really need to sit down with Mac and let her talk this thing out. I know Lisa, but we can’t push her. “And what about you Robert?” Huh. How are you? Look I’m fine, the trash got taken out and the fishes eat well. I will never feel bad about saving a children from any kind of abuse. I’ll meet my maker with my head held high.

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Please forgive any error in this part. I’m not feeling well today so my proofreading was poor. If you see any error please let me know and I’ll fix them. I really wanted to get this out today.     

Before Grit Were Grocery Part IV

7 Jun

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Daddy and Casa were left on their own; he reassured his youngest son that he was not in trouble and no harm would ever come to him for talking to his father.

Please, son, tell me what you saw; daddy held him tight. Casa rubbing his eyes told his father what he saw and daddy being the man he is, broke down too. He sent Casa downstairs with me and mama to help us get the grill ready for the fish we had caught earlier that day. Mama had her big pot on the stove heating up for some real mad crabs. I liked putting the crabs in the hot steam pot; the way they tried to get out made me laugh. I walked over to Casa who was standing by the grill spreading the coals out. “You okay?” I asked him. “Yeah”. I left him and went back to the pot to put some onions in the water that mama had just cut into big pieces. “Where’s daddy?” Mama asked Casa. “Oh, I think he’s still upstairs.” “Okay”, mama said. “He said he was coming right behind me.” “Let’s give him a few minutes, then I’ll go and check on him”.

Mama wanted to go upstairs right then and check on Robert, but she didn’t. She knew daddy was hurting for Mackenzie and was deciding how he should go about this. Daddy stood looking out that window for a long time. He watched as the big ships came in and then out again. He watched them until they could no longer be seen, he watched the waves swell and wear out on the beach. I had seen my father cry a few times, but not like this. It looked like he was hurt; I mean really hurt. My father’s heart was broken; he thought he could protect his family from the nastiness of this world. He had tried so hard to give us the very best he could and for this to come home was more than he could stand. And Mackenzie, he had to save that little girl from her father.

Mama had finished cooking her crabs and the fish was almost ready. I was making a salad from all the things mama had growing out back. I loved the smell of the tomatoes after mama picked them and brought them in the house. The fish was sizzling when daddy put them on the table. I was hoping to hear some stories from daddy while we ate, but nobody said much or ate much. We all were thinking about our little friend who had brought us some much fun. Mackenzie was only half Black; mama said they used to call them mulattos, but it wasn’t a nice name so me and Casa were not to call her that. Mackenzie’s father was white and not from this area. Daddy and him talked some but they didn’t really like each other. Daddy said he was fake and he didn’t really like Black people and we were to stay away from him. Mackenzie’s mother was away at some kind of hospital, mama said she was very nervous and needed to be looked after. She was from the area and her parents had died when she was young and she didn’t have any brothers or sisters. She had aunts and uncles and cousins that still lived around here, but that white man of hers had ran them off. They don’t come around much, except to see Mackenzie.

Mackenzie was always funny looking to me. Her hair was always standing straight up and it was yellow. She had freckles and green and brown eyes, she told us that she could see in the dark and around corners. She was just one of us after they moved in over there. She came over whenever she wanted and spent the night when her mother was home. She was like our funny looking sister. I think we loved her.

None of us slept much last night, I could hear mama and daddy talking most of the night. Casa slept some I think; he didn’t move much, but he never moves much. I could hear mama downstairs cooking breakfast and cleaning up or something. Daddy was out back cleaning his boat. He always cleans it when he comes in from the water, but last night he didn’t because of the Mackenzie thing. Then I heard a voice that sounded a lot like Mackenzie downstairs; my heart was beating so fast. I woke up Casa and told him Mackenzie was downstairs. He jumped up and ran downstairs with nothing but his drawers on. He gave Mackenzie a big hug as she sat at the table eating strawberries and drinking orange juice. Mama screamed at him to go put on some clothes. Casa was back and so was that grin.

After breakfast daddy calmed us all down and said he had something to tell me and Casa. He looked nervous and his hands shook a little bit, he said that Mackenzie would be staying with us until her mother got better and could take of her. I thought Casa would pop and I was glad too. I asked daddy what happened to her daddy? He just said he’ll no longer be around and left it at that. Mama looked at him like I had never seen her look at him before; they had a secret and they looked nervous. After daddy finished Casa and Mackenzie ran upstairs to play video games, I stayed and talk to mama for a minute and I watched daddy. I had never seen him clean his boat like this. He was back at it after breakfast and why was his rifle out? Hunting season was far away.