Coin Coin Chapter 5 In the Garden *

I. (Unbeknownst)

Whew It is hot today!

She a curious sight, ebony brown, bucket brown eyes a wandering.

I’m watching her stumble in a bit of the uneven grass alongside her kindred, a Mr. Domino, topped off in quite a spectacular Panama hat, looking curious as a kitten rascal.

I was happy to see her not alone

I knew she came from quite far away to look for me

An old dusty saga, one that I thought would never be told

Forced to take it to my grave only because my speaking came too late

Only reason she knows the story is because of that niece of Aunt Mary’s that was going senile and started telling EVERYBODY’s business…

My little love bits, my boys, were told a completely different story… went to their own graves believing just that

One that would keep me, always angelic in their hearts.

In retrospect, I am not mad about that. It is enough that they had to grow up without me.

But the women in my line whispered truth …I guess as a warning to the risk of clandestine destinies and uncast graves.

Mama said it was just my cross to bear, We all have some.

Well, They didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire and free

My spirit overshadowing my dreams too bombastic

My eyes too sparkling

My laughter too true.

My name is your name Our name is their name We are named

We remember They forget*

II. (Predestined Confessions)

Child, the shame I felt.

 I would just lay there and wonder, does he see me?gaze so absent.on a  secret mission, and me, though a willing collaborator, still a minor character in a backstory that didn’t truly belong to me.  Though I knew I was there, you would of thought I was as ghostly as I am now ( laughter), and if for one moment I might guide his movements knowing the location of my own desire, or asked to delay the impending pressure until I could position myself pleasurably so, I would be accused of Jezebel behavior, eschewing duty, … messing up the balance of what I was destined “by god” he said, to “receive”. Josephine said “wives don’t get those moments and that it was blasphemous and beyond deviant to even inquire.  You raised better than that…A dutiful wife is an angel of the ages… smile, look pretty but stay on the borderline of dumb, undramatic and devoted. Know your charge. I had some reservations about him,  really didn’t pay much attention.  Just gave it to god to sort out the worry. It tickles me when I think about it too much, bc honey he really tried it… tried to ruin my sense of self with every move…I think about what  (soj)Truth used to say

“… if I have to answer for the deeds done in my body just as much as man, I have a right to have as much as a man…” In the early days he looked at me with such love and care, By the end days honey,  he looked at me with disdain and wild paranoid suspicion, made me feel like a slave in my own soul.

Well, They didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire, free

Well, They didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire and free

My spirit overshadowing my dreams too bombastic

My eyes too sparkling

My laughter too true.

My name is your name

Our name is their name

We are named 

We remember 

They forget

III. (Enthralled not by her curious blend)

His daddy, ran all over cane, 

“shadow children”, as Jesse used to call them,  with his signature angelic grin 

A few of them were under my tutelage even…

he took loving care of all of them though…

not a one ever hungry or wanting… 

His mama made peace with it and carried on

but I remember when I first heard the whispers about his daddy’s liaisons and I thought: I could never…

Sometimes when i get a bit wistful, missing out on my boys growing strong, I replay choices in my head and have just come to understand what we are dealt is not necessarily what we choose

But one can only take so much humiliation…

When mine came home that day and told me he wanted his little shadows to know all that was ours, I couldn’t handle it. We fought. Said words to each other that to this day I  can not repeat, the sting is too lasting even in its faded memory.  He told me if I didn’t like it I had to leave. Man of the house, love honor, and obey was my pointed charge. 

At first, I refused, but then I decided to call his bluff. 

I scooped up the boys.  knew I needed to go back to my own born home to feel a sense of my root, until i could figure out what to do 

When I tell you, His people did not like me!

so attached to the color line that my supposed mystery tone represented stain. They had a long history of marrying each other to keep tone consistent. Dbl cousins on both sides, but a deep familial love, I will give them that

but because I was not local they couldn’t be sure I might not give passageway to what granny used to call  a “throw back” child.

Every one of my siblings, mama and daddy looked like me in tone, there was no throwback to be found but yet they went on imagining…

I was a school teacher, somewhat accomplished in my thought, yet my intellect was forever under review. 

I look at it all now and i still laugh….

Well, they didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire and free

My spirit overshadowing

my dreams too bombastic

My eyes too sparkling

My laughter  too true

My name is your name

Our name is their name

We are named 

We remember 

They forget

IV.  ( A (way) is not an option)

The boys and I had been in the city for a few months. It was cooler here, and since they were not yet of school age I felt no hurry to return back to that house. He did come up to see us, but only to dbl down on his demands. I don’t know where my head was at, but I had been reading a few things that gave me hope around my plight. Change was in the air. Women would live to see a better time.

I was absolutely deflated when only a few weeks after we had left, I was up early with the sickness, startled to learn, I was again with child. 

I tried to see the god in that moment, a sign giving me this new bind to turn the tide, walk back to the home we shared in forgiveness and return to my stead. Maybe I could walk the line of looking the other way, like his own mother was doing…and had been doing for years…

Well the gossip beat me to my return. I apparently had become the talk!

I thought he and his family would be happy to see that I decided to stay committed to my duty, but they held me in such suspicion, he himself declaring that he didn’t even know if the child was his. As if I had any time to cat around while looking after our two little ones!?

This hurt me so… I was not thinking clearly….So i picked up the boys and we left again…It was to be the last time.

I was in a bad predicament.

The year was 1925 and though many things had changed for us, a few many things were still quite choked up. I could not pick up my teaching duties being in the family way, and Mama and Daddy did not have the resources to help me try to hide away until I could not be so unwell. 

So i did the most resourceful thing I could do,  looked into possible futures.

Liza who had 13 and was sick with depression that she was about to have her 14th, was caught in the stable, drinking lye. Luckily she did not die, nor the child. But her husband committed her to the bin bc of the supposed madness she had post her delivery. He had also caught her pleasuring herself and just knew there was something wrong, and looney bin worthy. She never was the same after that.

I’d heard about a combination of herbs a root woman was making, but I could not get to her in time, and Wilhermina told me it didn’t always work.

And so one evening, out of sheer desperation and a bubbling sadness, letting my anxiety get the best of me, I devised a plan.

At the library there was a long enough staircase that if I positioned myself just right I could roll down the steps, “accidentally” ending my predicament in a matter of minutes. I wasn’t showing just yet and it sounded like a feasible option. 

And so i did just that. The pain was unbearable, the bleeding profuse, but I thought that was a good sign that all had worked. And eventually, the bleeding stopped.

However  a few days later  I was in a terrible pain and I couldn’t hide it from Mama, and told what I had done

She called for the Dr. right away.

They didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire, free

My spirit overshadowing

my dreams too bombastic

My eyes to sparkling

My laugh too true

My name is your name

Our name is their name

We are named. We remember. They forget 

V. ( For they do not know)

Even if i explained myself, my reasoning, no one would really believe me…

His youngest sister, who always seemed to lack basic kindness, had turned his entire clan against me by the time I was able to pull them apart from some of her sorry gossiping ways

And so once again, I just laid there.

 laid there on Dr.  O’Hara’s cold gray table and wondered, does he see me? again, gaze so absent.  Another on a mission, that I seemed only included as a minor character in yet another oh so pious backstory. Though I liked Dr. O’Hara very much. He was always very cheery towards me as a child, but that night all I saw was a judgment. “ Gal, how could you get yourself in such a mare’s nest!?”, he said, as if I had created some replica of the virgin Mary’s locus on my lonesome. The audacity of these rabbles with that dangle between they legs!

My “walk on” happened so blindingly fast, I thank god  I don’t really remember how I got from there to here, telling you this old, somewhat stale tale. But I am here, and at least I know through the eyes of my great-granddaughter, I am seen and I have maybe been heard.

I was not allowed a burial. Mama straight disowned me. 

Daddy had me secretly buried nearby the family plot hoping that by the time she would notice, she’d of been too gone by to care.   

My little bits were sent back down to live with their daddy, who in his own grief, or whatever love he had left for me, disappeared never to be seen alive again. They were lovingly taken care of by extended family. Raised as orphans but never made to feel as such, told that I had died in a hard childbirth. Which I suppose is somewhat true. Only in that what was birthed was my voice and what died was my judged silence. 

Well, they didn’t know I was electric, alive, spirited, fire, and free.  My spirit overshadowing, my dreams too bombastic, My eyes to sparkling, My laughter too true

My name is your name

Our name is their name

We are named. We remember. They forget…

*( underneath the entire record is a text collage weave in french,english and spanish that is a semi improvised arrangement of the entire text refrain: “Well, They didn’t know…They forget” )

I Never Heard a Sound So LongThe Promise

Hush you bye, Don’t you cry

Go To Sleepy Little baby

When You wake, You shall have cake

And all the pretty little horses

Blacks and grays

dapples and Bays, all the pretty little horses

Hush you bye, Don’t you cry, Go to Sleepy little baby


Way Down yonder

Through the meadow

roam free moon lady

shine on brighter

night bird and firefly ( fireflies 2nd round)

flutter round their eyes

roam free moon lady

shine, dance, wander

( This is a traditional american plantation lullabye, author unknown, however I changed the lyrics on the refrain(the promise) to better reflect our protagonist and changed parts of the main melody. We sing it as a 4 part round. )