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Lonnie Hicks

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Books by Lonnie Hicks
A Tub of Potatoes
By Lonnie Hicks
Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Last edited: Thursday, February 04, 2010
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Part of a book for sale on this site: "Politics, Poetry, and Love in the Obama Age"

My grandmother used to say
don't marry for money
but stay open-minded.

She could squeeze a nickel
and make the buffalo feel light-headed;
she could make a dollar out of 15 cent.

Now she was a big woman;
ruled the family roost
with a simple look
and an iron skillet.

Many times I heard that skillet
go thunk!
Another suitor educated.
Another boyfriend righted.

She always took us kids aside
and whispered things like
'now see that'
I don't want you kids to grow up
and do things like that.'

There was the woman or man who did not
take care of the family;
the Boyfriend Rogue;
or the Gallivant,
who tipped behind his ladies back;
the dandy who dressed so well
but did not have two dimes to rub together
and slept in the park in a tent.

These were depression days
when traveling men
rode the rails
not sure of where they came from
not sure of where they went
and the women who
longed for them;
who waited
for them
listening
for train whistles
and stock yard
freights
hauling
into Chicago
from the mid-west.

Grandmother
would sit
above a tub of water
peeling potatoes
like the layers of her life
each skin
would fall into the tub
of water
and go plop;
another chapter in Grandmother's life
told to us kids
sitting
wide-eyed.
'Time was' she would say
that this was a woman and man's country
now everything gone to hell.'
They danced in the gin joints
til then the money ran out
and the party was over
and the big depression gave them all
a big headache.
Party she said but dig down deep because
there will be a piper to pay.
Plop. Plop
Time was.

 

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