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Front Porch, 1900

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 1, 2013
pp. 45-46 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0019

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

They sequestered the children and the old
woman whose mind had begun to go
to the front porch in the afternoons. It was built
to catch breezes, and to keep the troubled
and the troubling out from under the feet
of the busy women. Reports from town
measured one hundred fourteen degrees. Her withering
white hair clung to her freckled neck.
Everything was dead, brown from the house
to the skinny green line of the river.

“Another Rastus story, Granny,” the little boy
begged as the smaller girl crawled on her stiff knees.

“I don’t know as I have another in me,”
she said, goading.

“But we must know!
What happens to him on the riverboat?
Does his lucky rabbit’s foot work? Does he
get away from the robbers?”

She’d started to pick the old tale up where
she’d last left it, but as the waving rhythm
of her rocker found pace with her breathing,
the names and places left her mind.
She stroked the little girl’s long braid,
but could not call up her name.

“She’s havin’ a spell,” the boy whispered
to his sister. “Let’s go out and hide in
the dry cane.”
“You mustn’t!” the old woman croaked
and lit to her feet, the little girl hitting
the wood with a thud. “You mustn’t dally
in the back fields. Nothing but death
for a thousand acres!” she groaned, almost
to herself. She nearly fell back into her chair,
resumed rocking, began picking at her own
fingernails. “And who knows,” she whispered,
looking at no one, weak jaw quaking.
“Who knows what demons
may lurk in the earth?”

Copyright © 2013 The Curators of the University of Missouri
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Katie Bickham. "Dining Room, 1811, and: Kitchen, 1850, and: Master Bedroom, 1859, and: Front Porch, 1900, and: Widow’s Walk, 1917, and: Child’s Bedroom, 1933, and: Parlor, 2012." The Missouri Review 36.1 (2013): 41-52. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Bickham, K.(2013). Dining Room, 1811, and: Kitchen, 1850, and: Master Bedroom, 1859, and: Front Porch, 1900, and: Widow’s Walk, 1917, and: Child’s Bedroom, 1933, and: Parlor, 2012. The Missouri Review 36(1), 41-52. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Katie Bickham. "Dining Room, 1811, and: Kitchen, 1850, and: Master Bedroom, 1859, and: Front Porch, 1900, and: Widow’s Walk, 1917, and: Child’s Bedroom, 1933, and: Parlor, 2012." The Missouri Review 36, no. 1 (2013): 41-52. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Dining Room, 1811, and: Kitchen, 1850, and: Master Bedroom, 1859, and: Front Porch, 1900, and: Widow’s Walk, 1917, and: Child’s Bedroom, 1933, and: Parlor, 2012
A1 - Bickham, Katie
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 1
SP - 41
EP - 52
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.1.bickham.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 1, 2013
ER -

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