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A black woman once saw the mother of christ and drew

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than you would suppose. A black woman once saw the mother of Christ and drew her in charcoal on the courthouse wall... When one is on the soil of one’s ancestors, most anything can come to one... From force of habit, I suppose, I held Fern in my arms—that is, without at first noticing it. Then my mind came back to her. Her eyes, unusually weird and open, held me. Held God. He flowed in as I’ve seen the countryside flow in. Seen men. I must have done something— what, I dont know, in the confusion of my emotion. She sprang up. Rushed some distance from me. Fell to her knees, and began swaying, swaying. Her body was tortured with something it could not let out. Like boiling sap it flooded arms and fingers till she shook them as if they burned her. It found her throat, and spattered inarticulately in plaintive, convulsive sounds, mingled with calls to Christ Jesus. And then she sang, brokenly. A Jewish cantor singing with a broken voice. A child’s voice, uncertain, or an old man’s. Dusk hid her; I could hear only her song. It seemed to me as though she were pounding her head in anguish upon the ground. I rushed to her. She fainted in my arms. There was talk about her fainting with me in the canefield. And I got one or two ugly looks from town men who’d set themselves up to protect her. In fact, there was talk of making me leave town. But they never did. They kept a watch- out for me, though. Shortly after, I came back North. From the train window I saw her as I crossed her road. Saw her on her porch, head tilted a little forward where the nail was, eyes vaguely focused on the sunset. Saw her face flow into them, the countryside and something that I call God, flowing into them... Nothing ever really happened. Nothing ever came to Fern, not even I. Something I would do for her. Some fine unnamed thing... And, friend, you? She is still living, I have reason to know. Her name, against the chance that you might happen down that way, is Fernie May Rosen.
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NULLO A spray of pine-needles, Dipped in western horizon gold, Fell onto a path. Dry moulds of cow-hoofs. In the forest. Rabbits knew not of their falling, Nor did the forest catch aflame.
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EVENING SONG Full moon rising on the waters of my heart, Lakes and moon and fires, Cloine tires, Holding her lips apart. Promises of slumber leaving shore to charm the moon, Miracle made vesper-keeps, Cloine sleeps, And I’ll be sleeping soon. Cloine, curled like the sleepy waters where the moon-waves start, Radiant, resplendently she gleams, Cloine dreams, Lips pressed against my heart.
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E ESTHER 1 Nine. STHER’S hair falls in soft curls about her high-cheek-boned chalk-white face. Esther’s hair would be beautiful if there were more gloss to it. And if her face were not prematurely serious, one would call it pretty. Her cheeks are too flat and dead for a girl of nine. Esther looks like a little white child, starched, frilled, as she walks slowly from her home towards her father’s grocery store.
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