Friday, October 21, 2011

Ruby's Child

Ruby had her child. A daughter she named Delia. Delia would marry but not Ruby, whose family was ruined by a man, a white man, whom she once loved. Never again, she swore. Ruby stayed put, helping her widowed mother stay alive, and reared her daughter the best any mother ever could. She was shunned by many who had known her since she was a baby, who knew the story of her and that Rich boy, how she’d brought on her brother’s death, or so they saw it. She stayed in spite of it all. Delia did not. She was young when she walked away. Not because of her mother or grandmother. She had had her fill of the accusations, the taunts, the insults. Fathered by a white man, to be an embodiment of his memory, the very sight of her a reminder first to her mother, then to everyone who knew her family . . . the spawn of those for whom her uncle gave his life in an alley in Woolwine, Virginia, where if you know where to look and dig up enough dirt you may come to find underneath the carapace surface of that earth what remains of the death of her brother Rufus, and you may as well bury the hard-shelled, blade-wet ghost here, no one comes to look any longer, for once the light-blinding monster struck in the bright noon of the day there was no need any longer to look, let alone know where to look.

Delia is gone. Her mother will never know where. The daughter wants to begin her life all over. She loves her life so much she must have more than she will ever find in this town that lies almost out of time, near to being lost in space. Wherever she goes, she remains a soft woman with her creamy skin alluring, but she has a mind that knows what to do to get where she is going. And there is no way to describe the route without following her, which may or may not happen, depending on her and the skill of the cartographer. No, I don’t mean what you think. She was half white but it was her dark skin she loved. She followed the lead of her mind instinctually, she followed its dictates, she found her place. Out there.

(21 October 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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