Addie

I hear the saw

Sh-sh. Sh-sh. Sh-sh

As I lay dying.

He cuts

The wood in its new brightness

As I lay dying

Her hand, the fan

Swish, swish, swish

As I lay dying

They left for three dollars

A measly amount

As I lay dying

They jabber away

Chitty, chat, chat

As I lay dying

I wish he were there

The one who cannot

As I lay dying

My husband…

Why is he there

As I lay dying?

Why do they care?

Why can I not leave?

Why do they hold me here?

As I lay dying.

Vardaman

The scales sparkle in the sunlight

The fins… they cut if you aren't careful

My mother… she's a fish.

I'm on the bank…

They come by and try to take me away

No way! Dewey Dell said there was one here.

They et her. That fat one.

And the other ones.

She cooked her and they et her.

Those damn bastards.

The teeth are little and sharp

She shines in the sunlight

And can hurt you if you aren't careful

My mother… she's a fish.

Jewel

The sweat pours down my face

And my back cries out

With every movement I make.

I don't know if I can make it.

I look behind at what I have done,

How far I have come

From where I have come.

And then, I look forward.

Is that not the only thing I can do?

Is that not the only thing a man can do?

A man must look forward,

A man must push through the hard times

Then, a men can be in a better life.

The flanks a sweat-streaked below me

But, we must keep pushing.

I grab the mane and dig my heels.

I'm mad, they say

To take this beast, this untamed monster.

But, I looked to the future

Because I am a man.

Cash

Shk-shk. Shk-shk.

I slide the saw back and forth.

Arms covered in the wood dust

Chips surrounding me.

The bright yellow of the new wood

It's almost blinding, it is.

They watch me.

They think me cruel

They think me disrespectful

I make her box,

I make her resting place,

Her bed

Before she has reached her point of readiness

How vulgar!

I make it where she can see.

How rude!

She watches me.

My planar pushes itself across the yellow expanse

ss-ss. ss-ss.

She is content.

I will give her the resting place she wants

And she will watch me do it.

Darl

I laugh.

They watch me,

Those men in white coats.

That one talked to me this morning

And I laughed.

He looked at me,

Dark eyes like night covered by dark brows of the same color.

He asked.

I answered…. And laughed.

I laugh because I can.

They have not yet taken away my laughter.

They will try.

And I will keep laughing

Until, one night, as I sleep

A man in a white coat comes

And he… he will steal from me

He will take my laughter

He will make me submit like Jewel did his horse

And then… I won't laugh

Because they will have won

When they steal my laughter… they win.

Dewey Dell

I feel it.

The signs have been there

But, I ignored them

For they could not be true

I laid with him out of love

And he left me with the same

But, now…

He did not truly leave

Part of him is still here

In me.

I feel it

And I must do something

Because this part of me

This part of him

Cannot be there

It was out of love that I laid with him

And… it was out of lust that I have this

I feel you.

You are part of me.

When I put my hand on my belly

I imagine

What would it be like if he were here?

Because, you are part of him, too.

But, you cannot be part of me, anymore

I cannot have part of him, anymore

What am I to do?