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> Poetry & Prose > Poetry & Prose Online > Crystal Senter Brown > Good Man

Good Man


She is not nearly
as pretty as my mother.
My brother and I

make faces at her
when she is not looking. Her
dress is too tight, her

hair is teased and dyed; but she makes my father feel
young again. Mama

does not know about
her. One day, she and Daddy
dropped my brother and

I off at the Main
Street movie complex, giving
us 20 bucks each.

They promised us they
would return before sun down.
We ate our way

through all things sweet,
good and buttery and six
hours later we

skipped back out onto
the sidewalk. We wait for two
hours with no sign
of our Father. It was dark when we boarded the
last bus of the day

to ride home, stomachs
aching- not from the pounds of butter, sugar and

salt, but from what we
knew would happen next; once we arrived back home.

As we stepped off the
bus, Daddy's white Cadillac
slid up beside us,

Daddy! We both screamed,
as if we had not seen him
in all of our

years. Just then, Mama
peeked out the front door, her head
a halo of blue

plastic rollers. Come
inside, she said before you
catch your death. We fall

in line, her army
of misfits, sitting down for
a dinner of Dad's

favorites: Chicken
corn and sweet potatoes. On
Dad's first bite, Mama

asked Where on earth have
you been for the entire
day and night? Without

a second thought my
brother and I yelled We saw
THREE movies! Just as

Daddy said We went
fishing on the lake. The room
swelled, our words hung

in the air, with no
one to rescue them. Mama
said nothing more, the

only sound that dared
to remain was fork- scraping-
plate, fork- scraping -plate.

2008 Crystal Senter Brown


> Poetry & Prose > Poetry & Prose Online > Crystal Senter Brown > Good Man
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