The Rest of the Conversation in the Car on the Way to the Cemetery

A Poem by Kimberly A. Bolton

Now, I dunno what it was
‘bout Corrie May an’ cows,
although cows was always
part an’ parcel of her life,
same as they was in everbody’s,
but Corrie never did take a hankerin’
to any cow that I ever heard tell of.
This here one time,
Corrie May an’ Norma Jean
Was gone fer the day,
an’ one a their cows got into
the yard, nudged open the backdoor
an’ walked right on in without a howdeedoo.
Was scairt sumbody had done broke
into the house was what Corrie May
thought when they got back home
an’ saw the backdoor standin’ wide open.
Said she stepped into the house an’
stepped right in it before she smelt it,
cow pies all over the place.
She wasn’t none too happy ‘bout it, neither,
let me tell you, havin’ to clean up all
that mess.
An’ nother time, way up in the middle-a
the night it ‘twas, an’ the chickens
all started makin’ a racket.
Corrie May just knowed someone
had got into the chicken coop an’ was
gonna steal her chickens.
Charlie was home at the time,
an ‘she sent him out there to see what
was goin’ on.
Charlie, he grabbed his shotgun an’ took off
to the chicken house.
It was so dark he couldn’t hardly see
nothin’, when all of a sudden
he saw somethin’ white floatin’ up
outta the dark, comin’ toward him,
an’ whatyaknow, if it wasn’t a durned ol’
white-faced cow what wandered into
the chicken coop scarin’ the chickens
an’ Charlie nearly to death.
No sirree, Corrie May never did take
to cows much.
I recollect it was durin’ the war,
at one them meetin’s of the Cotton Club ladies,
us women all gettin’ together fer the comp’ny,
sharin’ receipts an’ whatnot,
while most-a the men was all off fightin’
somewheres we never heerd tell of;
We’d hear the names of battles in these
places you couldn’t even pronounce an’
wonder how a body’d even know to git there.
Didn’ hardly pay fer a person to sit an’ listen
in on the radio anyhow.
The war was in full swing by then and the news,
an’ there was plenty of it, was all bad.
Don’t think there was a woman in the county who
didn’t dread the sound of a car comin’ down
the road and lookin’ out the winder,
didn’t breathe a sigh of relief
when it wasn’t from the telegraph office
from over in Clarksburg.
Well, at this here meetin’ I was talkin’ ‘bout,
One-a the ladies, Missus Davisson, just burst out cryin’
right in the middle of everythin;
Didn’t any of us know why right then, but we all understood,
if’n ya know what I mean.
The strain was hard on all of us what was left
back home never knowin’ if a son er a husband
what were kilt out in one-a them places we couldn’t
It turned out, this Missus Davisson
got word her son was a-missin’ in action.
Then ol Bridey Brewster who didn’t have
a lick-a sense nohow, she pipes up,
askin’ Missus Davisson why she was carryin’ on so?
Why everythin’ was gonna be just fine, just fine,
an’ she ought to quit makin’ such a fuss ‘bout it.
Now, they wasn’t a woman in the bunch,
my own self included, who didn’t have some member
of their family off fightin’ in that durned ol war.
Everbody ‘cept Bridey Brewster, a’ course,
an’ thank God fer that.

None-a that Brewster bunch was worth a plug nickel.
When it come to totin’ a gun they’d as soon shoot their
durn fool foot off than shoot the enemy an’ that’s a fact.
But Bridey, she just kept jabberin’ on an’ on
‘bout how’s they was no use to worry an’ how we
should git on with our meetin’ an things would work
out fer the best.
Well, an’ let me tell you what,
that just made Missus Davisson cry harder
an’ rubbed the rest-a us the wrong way to boot.
We was all getting’ madder’n wet hens,
til Corrie May spoke up an’ tol her to hush up,
how would Bridey feel if’n it was some-a her kin
gone missin’? Would be plenty to worry ‘bout then,
she reckoned.
An’ here Corrie May was with three sons in the service
her own self, an’ none-a us knowin’ if any were alive
er dead at that very minute.
But she shore shut Bridey Brewster right up; she didn’t
say ‘nother word the rest-a that day . . .

An’ lookee here, done made it to the cemetery.
Too bad we couldna buried her out at Cotton
with rest-a her folks, but it closed up all these
years ago now.
No more spaces left to put folks in the ground.
I’d figured on bein’ buried out there myself til
the new highway pert near put Cotton off the map;
a body’s likely to take a wrong turn and get
theirselves lost way out there if’n they don’t
rightly know where their goin’.
Yessirree-bob, it was a nice service,
Short an’ sweet just the way she woulda liked it
God love her.

What say we drive over to the Nic-Nac after fer
a cup a coffee an’ we’ll talk more then?

1 thought on “The Rest of the Conversation in the Car on the Way to the Cemetery

  1. Pingback: The Kimberly A. Bolton Series of Poems | Our Day's Encounter

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