Green Grass


The sun shines down on the world, on the trees and on the green grass of my home. God is in his heaven and I lie in my grave. Two years ago, I killed a man, I thought for love. I killed him out of fear, out of fear of losing my love. But I lost her anyway when they hung me from the old oak that stands out front of the courthouse.

My name ain’t important, hell, I ain’t important no more to anyone except maybe the worms that crawl through my body. I had me some bottomland, only forty acres, but it was mine. I cleared it and planted corn in the summer of 1905.  I was a man in love, her name was Faith and she was the most beautiful woman in the world, at least to me. This is my story.

I’ve never been around woman folk all that much, so I wasn’t prepared when I first saw her. I was in town for supplies, and I had just finished loading my wagon when she walked by. She looked as an angel; she looked as I don’t know what. I fell in love. Her hair was long and raven black. As she walked away from me, the light shone on her hair and rippled as over an ocean. Her eyes were gray and she made my legs quaver.

I did not see her again until the grange meeting. I went because the topic of discussion was to be water rights. I had my water, but if someone was going to take some of it, I needed to know about it beforehand. She sat stately in the front row. Nothing much was accomplished at the meeting. Afterward, I stood outside lighting my pipe when she walked up to me. She was so beautiful; I got weak in the knees.

“Hello Mister MacDonald, my name is Faith Simpson. My people own the land next to yours; I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

That was the beginning.

Before I knew it, her family had my water and she had my heart.

On the third moon of our meeting, we were betrothed. She was mine.

Then on a cold dark night, I made the mistake of my life. She was putting up curtains in my cabin. She was getting it ready for when she would live there. Jim Peters from up a ways on the mountain had come down on his way to town and stopped by when he saw the light in the window.

I know now that I was mistaken, but this is what I saw. As I walked up to the cabin, I saw her in his arms. Now I know that she had stumbled and Jim caught her before she hit the floor. But I didn’t know that then. I pulled my gun and sent Jim Peters to another word.

It was a mistake. And for that mistake, I lie here in my grave and try to feel the warm sun on the green grass of my home, my grave

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