Loss and Longing

Time Was

Bella spoke words that lit up my ears leaving them red from the listening.  I wanted only to be with her.

We met along Tobacco Road when she and I weren’t even 14 yet.  The moon illuminated the sweat on her face making it glisten like it might if she had just thrown some water on it.  So many times I imagined her bathing in the rain her face catching each drop. I loved her.

It wasn’t enough when looking at her was not just forbidden but might have been the death of one or another of us.

“Starry, wake up.” Auntie called from the kitchen.

“I’m up momma.” I called back. She wasn’t my mother and would remind me when I made it into the kitchen.  “I’m coming.”  I said louder still hoping to block her reminder.

The table is just in front of the stove and my plate is already in front of my chair. Momma Auntie is at the stove with my eggs and some bacon she saved me. She crisps it up in the oven.  Promises me every time she’ll teach me how.

“You picked up your things, Starry?”

“Yes, ma’am.  Momma Auntie can go I over to Mag’s house after I do my chores?”

“It’s Maggie and if I find one thing undone, you won’t see Maggie for a month Sundays.”


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