“Dang Me! Ought t’Take a Rope n’Hang Me!”

I’m called Punk Bole.

Been couple days now, since Daddy he brung me some eats and that jug o’ water.  My hands is free, I reckon I should be countin’ my blessin’s,  but he chain my ankle to the metal slats windin’ roun’ inside this place.  Some ol’ mine buildin’, from what I can figure.  If I was to pull real hard, shoot, the whole place’d come down in a heap o’rotted timbers, but these here rusted struts, they’d stan’ the test.  

Dang.  

Can’t be shore, but I’m planted out some’eres out to the quarry, but tossed here in middle o’the darkest night got my head twisted, and once I ‘llowed that was the case, my sense o’ di-rection went plum out the window.  Got me the sun, so got my easts an’ wests sorted.  But ‘cain’t hear nothin’ human, no trains chuggin’ nor horns a’blastin’.  I do hear some mysterious rustlin’ in them bushes yonder.  I get me the sweats thinkin’ what might be out there.  This here chain’s long enough I kin get out the door, do my business, but that’s ’bout all.  Brush and near dead ol’ trees hang theyselves heavy over this ol’ shack, doubt if even some keen-eyed hunter’d take notice.  

I’ll admit I am ‘fraid o’snakes.   These woods is full of ’em, copperheads, rattlers, filled will venom and vitrol.  

I stay inside.  And I ain’t slep’ much.

I am gettin’ hungry, howeve’.  Somethin’ awful, tell the truth.  Why I believe Daddy when he say he back soon, I don’t know, but I did.  Ain’t feelin’ no panic and pain’s most left where he manhandled me.  So here I sit, my insides eatin’ theyselves, water jug near empty. Waitin’ and hopin’ and imagin’in’ his promises to be ‘fore he drove off, jest what Texas, way aways away, what Texas will be like.

Sound little excitin’, and I picture me and him thick as thieves, gettin’ us cowboy hats and hittin’ it rich in them oll fields down the’eh.  Hear the sky reach clear down to the horizon, that they ain’t no lan’ a colored man cain’t buy and cultivate, ain’t no stoppin’ a man any color who want to work ha’d and wake hisself up early to do it a’gin.

I got me dreams, true.  An’ given I got all this time chained up out the middle o’nowhere, well, my dreamin’ gettin’ full o’ color and drama.  I meetin’ people in my head, give them names and houn’dogs and fav’rite movie stars.  In my mind, I spendin’ all that cash we get from workin’ that black gol’ shootin’ up to the top o’ the sky, and then some.  Bought me a right nice bay mare.  She get purtier ever’ time I think o’ her.

I ignore the man give birth to these here dreams, he be my long lost Daddy who I neve’ laid eyes on til month o’ two prior, when he introduce hisself to me with one beatin’ after another’n.  I put behind me the fac’ my Daddy, he lie to my Mama ’bout treatin’ me right.  I forget he kidnap me from the only place I got myself frien’s what brung me into they own fam’ly’s bosom.

I pay no heed he chain me up, leave me out alone, all them wood creatures eyein’ me as they own dinner.  

An’ then i comes back to my senses, and my hungry sense tops ’em all, don’t it?

So I sets my sights on what’d satisfy my empty belly best.  

Gold fried chicken, crusted up with saltine crackers?  My, that makes my mouth water.

Smashed ‘taters, swimmin’ in butter ‘n beef juices?  Law!

Bake beans latticed atop w’crisp cooked ham?  Take me home now, Lord Jesus!

Big fat fluffy white biscuits, sausage slice in the middle, steammin’ hot fresh from the oven?  Beat the drum, I goin’ crazy!

But the one thing, the very one and only one thing I loves the best on this whole of God’s earth, the onliest hunk o’ deliciousness what will set my head plum on far?

Dare I say it?  Dare I think it?  Fear I’ll fall to weepin’, but Lord, if you be up there an’ you be watchin’ over me much as you count the sparro’s flittin’ here and ’bout, well then, Lord?

Let that filthy son of a buck of a Daddy o’ mine, let him bring me ICE CREAM!  

I reckon I forgive him chainin’ me up like some two-bit dog, he come back bearin’ me ice cream! 

An’ even more so, I reckon I forgive nigh AN-thin’, he come bearin’ ice cream flavored pink star-berry...!

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