Elbows on bent knees,
Hands dangle between, wings on a gentle-breezed bird.
Butt planted, chilly on Autumnal Earth.
Grass spent, golden and crackling
Under a sky sharp as blue porcelain.
Leaves flicker down from balding trees,
The memories still, cut deep.
We come down the winding stone stairs in two groups of three, hands cupped to steady the splash and flicker of fragrant oil lamps. The deeper we go, the louder the rush and roll of the underground river flowing through the apothecary. Here is where the souls of the Mothers slow for the earthly; here is where appeals to heal scars from ill deeds are most likely granted.
Lula, at forty, was too old to be a whore, and too smart to be a madam. Scratching a living from the arid Oklahoma soil did not appeal to her.
She never did cotton to book learning. At least, not the kind of learning offered at the town’s one-room school house. It squatted at the edge of town like a carbuncle, Continue reading