Posted on April 20, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair4.20.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Sally Mann April 20, 2014: This is how we played. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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Momma put us in pretty frills when we was small, and print cotton dresses, and she did our hair nice and she said we was blindin. We took turns wearin the sunglasses, and posin like we was film stars, and Kitty said the world looked different when she wore the glasses, said it looked like a movie or like watchin momma and papa through the keyhole of their bedroom door.
They was makin babies in the bedroom. That’s what momma said, and she said it warn’t no easy thing. We thought it must be like movin furniture for the noises they made. Then we saw em. Just keyhole bits of em. And they had no clothes on and momma’s eyes was closed and she was catchin at her breath and callin on papa to keep goin.
After, when we was girls by us selves, we asked momma if she had made another baby, and she said we had to be patient. It was like plantin seeds, she said, and only time would tell. Seeds is somethin we understood on account of the sunflowers we planted in the yard and ev’ryday we watered the ground and we looked for green shoots sproutin and it took the longest darned time before we saw anythin.
Then one day momma was a little thicker about the middle and she showed us the swell of her belly, like a balloon and smooth, and she said there was a baby growin inside. We wanted to know if it was a brother or a sister we had. Momma said we should jes wait and see. She said it was a surprise. And she hung her weddin ring from a string and she hung it over her belly, watchin to see which way it turned, sayin it was like magic and if it turned one way it would be a boy baby and the other and it was a girl.
Kitty put a cushion under her pinafore dress and I had to rub her back and fetch her cups of broken ice and she din’t have no weddin ring so we used a brass washer instead. Kitty was havin a boy, for sure.
‘Course we din’t know then. Not all the hows and the hows not to. Momma shoulda said, but she din’t. So when we was old enough, and Tommy next door put his weanie into Kitty’s hole, well what was she to think? She told me all about it. She said it hurt at first and then it was sorta nice. She din’t say anythin about the noises, like shiftin furniture.
Then a whiles later she was a little thicker round the waist. Like momma had been years back. And still Kitty had no weddin ring. And we both of us knowed for sure. Kitty wore her dresses a little loose and she chewed on lumps of coal behind the shed, like she was a loon. And we none of us told momma for as long as sunflower shoots comin out of the ground. And when we did, I was sure we was goin to get a good whippin, but it was Tommy next door that got the trouble.
Momma said as how Kitty looked more pretty ev’ry day and she stroked Kitty’s hair and called her darlin all the time and sweetie. They became a sorta club, Kitty and momma, and I was outside that club.
And after the baby came and it was a girl and Kitty called her Em, which was my name, well I sorta felt like I din’t belong there no more. That’s when I took to runnin away, and bein loud and bad, and cussin bout ev’rythin. Momma jes shrugs and she says I’ll grow out of it some day, but I ain’t done growin yet by the longest time.