[EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve said before that there are three different books being written on this blog. Make that four.]
A Pilgrim Soul Arrives
With a woman’s wail, a baby’s cry, and a man’s curses, Everett “Ervie” Howard Mann came to be born on a west Texas dirt farm, dirt poor, damned, and destined never to be more than that.
“GODDAMMIT, Clara! I told you NOT to get pregnant, then NOT to have that baby, and DEFINITELY NOT to bring another goddamned mouth to feed at our measly table! NOW look at what you’ve done!”
With such patriarchal curses Howard Mann went back out to work his farm alone until well past sundown, not just because he had no money to hire help but as much because no one would have taken the job if he did. Nobody liked him, not even the poorest of the poor.
Howard slammed the front screen door to their clapboard shack for emphasis, rattling the cheap glass windows that weren’t yet broke, still loudly cussing about how his firstborn son had ruined his morning if not also his entire life.
Meanwhile a browbeaten but once pretty Clara put her still pretty tit in her baby’s mouth and watched with pleasure how her little baby boy greedily sucked all her life-giving milk.
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