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Cynth'ya Lewis

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country livin'
by Cynth'ya Lewis
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
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Ain' nothin' like a handy man

Ned's Momma was a good woman,

good country woman in a one room shack,

never complained about material wealth

or earthly gain;

Ned's Momma, now she was

a virtuous woman,

one who never dared cause her kinfolk

to suffer shame by wearin'

shortie short city gal skirts;

Ned's Momma was always

a-washin' an'

a pressin'

razor-edge creases

in the menfolk's pant cuffs;

starchin' 'em all stiff like their Sunday Best shirts

my my--what a woman. . .

Then one day for pert much no dadburn reason a-tall,

Ned's Momma just up and cut ol' man Petty;

she always called him to the shack

when she needed some fixin; but last time,

for some reason,

when the kitchen faucet kept a-drippin'

and Ned's Momma kept a callin' up the party line

to fetch ol' man Petty to do what Ned's Momma

felt just was some simple quick 'n' fixin' to soothe her mind,

ol' man Petty just scratch'd his itch, & took his time; 

(Y'all know country livin' ain't been easy for Ned's po'  ol' Momma)  Well. . . story goes. . .

them nosy neighbors on the hill, they say ol' man Petty

was screwin' 'round with Ned's Momma's sister,

that would be city-fied Aunt Sadie;

See, Aunt Sadie was quite a hit in town,

a well-rounded and talented lady--especiallyin the sack with ol' man Petty--

musta been them shortie short city gal skirts

that Aun' Sadie loved to wear,

she had a way to make the menfolk want to stop dead in their dirt tracks, get "down 'n' dirty" over in Sadie's private lair

my my--what a woman. . .

Well they say Ned's Momma was sorta

touched in the temples; and was more than just a little shy

 every since Ned's Papa died, (an' nobody's yet figured yetjus' how he passed away. . .or why. . .)

An' every since that ol' peddler died,

Ned's Momma just took her son off to the side,

and rumors say he wudn't Ned's Papa after all;

old folk in the hollow be sayin' he bore a likeness oh so ready  ol' handy man Petty;  see, Ned's Momma seemed to always need a house call. . . (for some fixer up'n'. . . or sump'n like that . . .y'all);

lookee here, they say Ned's Aun' Sadie, for a country woman, knew all there was when it come to toolin' with things like carrot sticks 'n' hard boiled eggs and even smoothed out handles from wooden three-legged milk stool legs

Now speakin' a Aun' Sadie,

now that woman, she knew how to entertain!

but somehow all the village women would

cringe and cuss

at the sound of my Aun'ie Sadie's name. . .

even her own family,

her sister, y'all 'member, 

that was Ned's Momma,

even she felt the same. (Only worse. . . .)

So this one Sabbat' Day

oh, reckon 'round half-past midnight,

Aun' Sadie's bedroom lantern was burnin'

eerie bright; an' by this time,

Ned's Momma was sick to death

of the damn drippin' in the kitchen

 -- why that annoyin' leak of a sound was bound

to be keepin' her up 'til the break of day when the rooster'd crow his sound. . .  

and so Ned's Momma, she went an' said inside her slightly troubled head,

"I'm tired of that ol' coot keeps me a-waitin' all day, just so's my man-stealin' sister can have her way with a God-fearin' man like Mr. Petty, and somebody gone hafta pay!

 . .So Ned's Momma got up long before church would begin;

put on her Sunday best; wrapped Ned's press'd shirt around her head, tied the sleeve underneath her chin;

Got the kerosene lantern held close to her chest as she chanted away:"LAY DOWN YOUR BURDENS, MY JESUS WILL GIVE YOU REST."

Before leaving her shack, she reached for the Word, her sword and her shield, and a bottle of applejack; and she sang this sweet song as she walked out the door:



As she neared Aun' Sadie's bungalow

that full moon night;

she heard two voices in a sultry groan 

all muffled an' low under dim lantern light:


Well I'm a guessin' that's when Ned's Momma's brain

just got too compressed; and the next thing we done saw

was Aun' Sadie, undressed

she just busted down the screen door tearin' down the road;

had a cross slashed in her chest, blood streamin'down

from between both bouyant double-barrel breasts;

And as far as the rest of the tale, so I'm told,

(see my Momma told me to stay in the house, said I was too young to see somethin' that bold)

is that ol' Mr. Petty had done his last chore;

Ned's Momma cut off ol' Petty's faucet

with the pocket knife she called "Jesus" . . .

then doused Aunt Sadie's bed with the smell o

kayrosene 'n' applejack;

then Ned's Momma, she went 'n' slipp'd on out de back,

(of course takin' what was left of the jug a applejack)

and she happily went back to her own lonely lil' shack,

still wearin' ol' man Petty's shirt like a royal headwrap,

The ol' postal carrier, he say that

Ned's Momma mus'a toss'd the kerosene on the fire,

then she prob'lay rocked back 'n' forth,

hummin' real slow like this-a-here:

"It is well with my soul. . . it is well with my soul."

Well, all that was left Ned's Momma was

that pocket knife she called "Jesus",

(yes in deeday nah)

an' e'ben aftah nine decades

in this little holler of a town,

People still knew that Ned's Momma, she was

TRUE to HER WORD, and she made sure

that "Jesus" went right straight into her heart

on that night, when her one room shack lit up

sump' fierce 'n' bright.

my my--what a woman. . .

all mix'd up'n thayah

with the ashes scatter'd round

from what lil' frame was left

of that simple one room shack.

© 2005 cynth’ya lewis reed, all rights reserv'd   

Author's Note: (May 11, 2005)

This "exercise" in patois dialect is one that my own relatives in Pennsylvania and Mississippi still used today. In my own attempt to honor their stories, I've extended this a from it's original from when I wrote it on May 10 in the wee pre-dawn hours as a bit as a "practice exercise". I also write this as an offering to those like myself who are afraid to share the fictional colorful stories that mesmerize the soul; stories that make us forget about our own struggles; stories that teach us lessons even in the imagination.

So, I wish to say "thanks" to so many of you who have once again renewed my own belief that "if you can dream it, you can do it."

Only the beginning, thank you for your words of encouragement.

love you, thank you,


Women Who Kill (1999 Article)

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Reviewed by Mark Rockeymoore
the patrois read true, the story was quite visual and certainly followed the old frankie and johnny're a very skilled writer, indeed!
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper
quite a story Cynth'ya, enjd the humor and wit. G
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner

I was hooked from the git go--damn! The power of your words weaves an intoxicating story! You are a Master! Reminds me of Faulkner in a way, with a touch of Poe--BRAVA! One of your best, DEFINATELY, a keeper *thank you!*

(((((HUGS)))) and love, Karla. :)
Reviewed by E T Waldron
had me rapt from start to finish! Cynth'ya you are a master
storyteller/poet! Fantastic write!

Reviewed by Kate Clifford
Its that dripping water, does it every time! Fantastic story weaven in this write!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Girl, you do have a way with words...loved the patios...
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
whoooooooooooooooooo man, this is some good stuff, cynth'ya! outstanding; brava!!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in tx., karen lynn. :D
Reviewed by Carole Mathys
You truly have the gift of a storyteller....wonderful Cynth'ya!

Peace and love, Carole
Reviewed by Eddie Thompson
Astounding! Nobody tells a story like cynth'ya lewis reed!
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