A Sleepy, Dusty Delta Day


A Sleepy Dusty Delta Day

(With Apologies to Bobbie Gentry)

It was a sleepy, dusty delta day. I was out in the field, picking cotton—down in the lower forty. Momma came to me with the news.

My man killed himself.

Henry was my life. Henry was my everything.

He was a long way from home when he died. He should have been here with me, not out chasing money.

It was me that drove him off. I was always going on about how I wanted this and how I wanted that. Now all I want is my Henry back.

It don’t seem right that I’m here and he ain’t.

I think I’ll go to him.

The mountain ain’t that high, I can be up on top by sunset.

I said my good-bye to momma and started out. She had no idea where I was going or what I was gonna do once I got there.

I’m wearin’ my wedding dress. Henry always said how pretty I looked the day we were pledged to one another. How my hair trapped the sunlight, how my eyes laughed, how he became weak in the knees as he stood next to me before the preacher. How much he loved me.

As I climb the mountain, I smile. I’m thinking on my Henry. I’m thinking of the time we was kids and went swimming down at old man Ives’ watering hole. It was the first time Henry ever did kiss me.

The sun’s going down, the clouds are orange and pink with purple ’round the edges.

I’m now up on the ridge.

Henry always said I didn’t have a lick of sense. I reckon I don’t.

I loved you so much, Henry. I am so sorry for my evil ways.

It’s a long way down, but when I get there, I’ll be with my Henry.

It’s a sleepy, dusty delta day.

Molly Lee

Andrew Joyce Author

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