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  • Enters Angelina
    Illustration: depicts Momma and Angelina at the clothesline

    • • • • •

    The sun rises in her hair. So light her touch and so small her hand. Barely four years old and light as a feather,
    a little chick, a vision of innocence. Mamas helper and father’s delight.

    Yegg and Seth see the clothesline ahead. Seth says, “ Good day Mrs., knife or scissor sharpen today?” Momma turns and sees the men looking for work and in a christian way says, “Thank you kindly - Angelina fetch mama’s purse. How much did you say?” Yegg says to Seth in a whisper, “three flaps and a flop”

    Child fair she brought the purse. Mama says, “Pinking Sheers?” Seth sneers and said “no pain, no gain, sharpen here and there’s a crooked road everywhere”. Tucked well within his coat a sharpening stone and oil so slick. Yegg watching the sheets on the clothesline as it catches the breeze around the corner a window pried open. Three flips and a flop.

    Seth says, “Might I inquire is your husband here, I offer a days wage to sleep near". Mama, "Sorry kind sir, but he’s not home for hours more and I will offer your service when he returns, just leave a note so he can call." With that old Yegg reached for a pen scribbled a number and said, “by the by I come back this way, maybe he’ll be back by then.”

    Sharpened and ready the scissors appeared and with a smile on her face mama said “Good Day”, handed Seth and Yegg a quarter and a cookie to go. As she watched them walk away, she said, “ strange men with funny ways”. Angelina held tight to the apron strings as mama carried the basket to the house. Angelina didn’t like the way the old man looked. Angelina wished he’d never come their way.

    The day ends and the growing season of bedtime comes for sleepy eyes and night time prayers, jump into bed and leave a light, goodnite. Easy as pie or so you’d think, but not so. Older sister has seeded the evening with a disquieting bit of news. Sweet child kneels for prayers and once said ready to sleep a gentle dream and furtive glance to stay the light. Mama says, “Oh, my sweet Angelina, Goodnight.” The stage is set and the light is out. The bedroom window’s ajar and the train whistle blows. No moon tonight and Yeggs ready for some sleepy time terror. Three flaps and a flop, coming right up.
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