dVerse — prosery 4 — memories with the trees

Cabin Viewed from Rear with Wash Line | William Aiken Walker | oil painting

She was born there in that cabin, at the edge of the tree line. Mama was a God-fearing woman who never missed church on Sunday and who took washing in from the houses on the hill. Daddy was a hard-working sharecropper who grew just enough to keep his family alive from harvest to harvest.

She helped her mother with cleaning, canning, and the wash, while her brothers learned young how to plow with the mule. At age ten, Mr. Smith took a shine to her when she delivered the laundry on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays she was always home late and Mama fussed at her dawdling.

When Brother told Daddy why, Daddy shot Mr. Smith dead with his deer rifle. They hung Daddy for it.  Mama and us kids moved on.

These memories were left here with the trees.

Until today.

[140 words]

Merril is the host of dVerse today.  Merril says:
I decided to take a line from the new US poet laureate, Jo Harjo. I was going to write more about her, but I thought perhaps people would not want her background to influence their own work. So, you can read about her here.    

You can also find links to some of her other poems there, and there are many lines that would have worked for this prompt. I’ve selected this line:

“These memories were left here with the trees”

from the poem “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War.”  You can read the entire poem here.

Image is  “Cabin Viewed from Rear with Wash Line” by: William Aiken Walker

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Philippart says:

    Good piece– gives me a stomach ache—- then, again, it should

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Tim.

      Like

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Boy, you change up styles in the blink of the eye. Rocking the prompt, this reads like the lyrics to a Dolly Parton ballad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, thanks, wherever the spirit takes me. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

      Like

  3. Wow. Good one, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Susan, thank you.

      Like

  4. merrildsmith says:

    Oh well done! Too many tragedies like this.
    (I almost went in this direction after spending the other day reading and writing about Larry Nassar.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Merril, thank you, yes there are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. badfinger20 says:

    Good and unfortunately a believable story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Max, I wish it wasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 says:

        Thank you for the story.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          You are welcome.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Sadje says:

    Great story telling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome dear

        Liked by 1 person

  7. kanzensakura says:

    Excellent story telling

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Toni.

      Like

  8. rothpoetry says:

    Well done Jade! I like your twist as the story moves along!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. kim881 says:

    I like the way you took me straight into that cabin, Jade, and I felt I knew the family. Such a devastating ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kim thanks and I wish there was never an ending like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. memadtwo says:

    Too many of these memories hanging around…(K)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I like the terseness of the language when you reveal how it ended… I can really feel the weight of the secrets revealed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Bjorn, for your useful feedback.

      Like

  12. lifelessons says:

    I like the simplicity of your story, but the “Until today” distracts from it for me..it suggests something that is totally up in the air after a perfect ending in the line before. Well done. I really get a sense of the innocence and simplicity of the young girl and the unfairness of the hanging of the father…I also like your illustration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Judy. I appreciate seeing the poem with your eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is storytelling at its finest. So well done Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. pvcann says:

    A real story, that underlying reactive side of humanity that brings so much pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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