The Green Grass of Home

The sun sends its warm rays down onto the world, onto the trees and onto the green grass of my home. God is in his Heaven as I lie in my grave—my home of two years. I killed a man. I killed him out of fear, 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 to no one no more to except maybe the worms that crawl through my body and feast on my flesh.

I had me some bottomland, only forty acres, but it was mine. I had cleared it and planted corn and sorghum in the spring of ’85. 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 womenfolk all that much, so I wasn’t prepared when I first saw her. I was in town for supplies. I had just finished loading my wagon when she walked by. She looked like an angel. Her hair was long and raven-black. As she walked away, the light shone on her hair and rippled as it would over a small placid pond. Her eyes were gray. She made my legs quaver. I fell in love.

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 that I got weak in the knees.

“Hello, Mister MacDonald, my name is Faith Simpson. My people own the land next to yours. We just moved here from the East and 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.

Then, on a cold dark night, I made the mistake of my life. She was standing on a chair, 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, through the window, 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 back then. I pulled my gun and sent Jim Peters to another world.

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

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