you knew most of it weren’t true anyways David says talking to Grandma he Grandfather sitting opposite her a window outside to Hemphill but no old advertisements behind him Well this ain’t Sunset Grandma says Though I suppose you takin’ me here for supper makes us still friends leastways It’s his birthday least I could do David says Yes and it’s fittin’ we come here the day you give the boy your guitar and you crossed it and I crossed it and my grandma crossed it and a boy (Damn! 33 years ago…) I loved once but it twasn’t no bridge because there wasn’t no bridge ’til after they dammed it and that was 1967 Yes been eight years David says But I remember the ferry used to call it Old Crow ferry ‘fore it was called Gaines Ferry man who built it drowned in the Sabine when he was kicked from a horse And Benjy died on this side he never made it over he wrecked tryin’ to catch that ferry when he fled Eat now Solomon! Don’t you like your fish? Is that why you brought me here? Grandma says an old woman an old man the flash of eye contact self-similar recurrences smaller and smaller You never told me you never told me what she done said about the night Benjy Don’t be afraid now! He won’t hurt you His name is Marcus my grandson he’s just never seen Marcus you need to be comfortable ’round your own kin you need to be comfortable with all folks how else people gonna know you? Strangers no different from you there’s nothing to be ashamed of nothin’ to be scared ’bout folks finding out when you got integrity Ain’t no secrets ‘mong family… You Sol! Quit your moanin’ les I take you back! I’m sorry grown man cryin’ and all he must be thinkin’ of his brother Abe Hush now Solomon! Thirty-three years old and carryin’ on like this… Oh I’m sorry I should be the one to apologize I’m Gabby I was cousin to his Uncle Ben We used to play here when we were children Marcus! Eat your fish! Ain’t this fine! The Lebeau clan comin’ together my it’s been 45 years since we started kindergarten Fittin’ it’s a fish fry to bring us all together again There was a tree here once Well ain’t no trains in the story David says That’s a fallacy your kinfolk can tell grandchildren Nearest Amtrak runs out of Beaumont where she came from after she run off from her husband in San Antonio Benjy didn’t kill Aaron on no train bridge just like we never crossed no bridges before Solomon was born the white man lies No train bridge over yonder and Grandma got sick got the surgery on her neck and Grandfather was on the radio tellin’ legends I ain’t still found Him found the fish once swallowed my ring Legba she called him Papa Legba I gave him the name Ol’ Scratch No it was Marie Toussaint gave Benjy that doll all sewed up stuffed with Spanish moss You should know you went to her You were the one that gave it to him No sense in forcing a woman’s hand let her come up with it all on her own that’s what she’s gonna tell everbody anyways… and We have the mind of Christ the Preacher says For blessed is the man who suffers injustice for the Lord is just and that’s what you should be prayin’ brothers and sisters–Lord just be just Maddie told me when he came to her room all wet with rain the odor of smoke on him he didn’t come from the river he didn’t drag Aaron’s body from there they were at the tree in the house your brother built and he had the doll the doll he pinned Dulcinea’s name to not as a curse on him to cause him harm but for luck and power and dominance Aaron just got scared and started backing up and when he went over the rail backwards he broke his neck So on this weekend we celebrate Labor Day the Preacher’s voice deep and resonant from his podium Remember The Passover the blood of the Lamb Who was slain the blood on the doorpost and the lamentation of mothers wailing the death of the firstborn for how soon we forget the miracles of God and yearn to return to our slavery He has coffee-color skin the white man notices I am darker than my brother and he says he come from the crossroads Finish your fish Solomon! and Benjamin was sold into slavery in Egypt You play it Son Find your middle C We are not alone here We are not alone Bethany I knew the first word of it just like I knew the last like the language a character speaks to others it accords with his time his place his social station level of intelligence and I did not change a word of it I knew it to the very last period

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