The Anthology 

Gyp’s Refrain

By Stacey Rose

I managed to unplant my feet and I walked … backwards, as far as I could til I saw Butch and them go in, and a fuss go up. Far enough not to see em no more. Back. Back. Backwards til I tripped and fell. I sat on the ground, looked up at the sky and noticed there wasn’t a star in it. It was like God decided that whatever went on this night was gonna happen under the complete cover of darkness. Not knowin’ what to do next, I laid down. I cried til my eyes were too heavy to keep open and I went to sleep.

The next morning I woke to the bluest sky you ever wanted to see. Oh, God was showin’ out that day! Then, all of a sudden it felt like the devil snatched my heart, cause I was suddenly more scared than I ever been. I jumped up and start walkin’. I wasn’t goin’ home. No. I felt myself bein’ drawn, and drawn, and drawn …

… And that smell. Hit me ‘fore I even got there. It was burnt meat but more … more … It was all over and through me. I doubled over to throw up my guts, but I ain’t have no guts to throw, on account I hadn’t been home the night before to eat nothin’ to throw up.

When I was able, I lifted my head up to the sky and there in the sky on a branch that look bout like it was gonna give. I knew it was Daddy on account of the shoes. Momma got em for im his last birthday. And there they were danglin’ back and forth and back and forth

Tic Toc, Tic Toc and his body rocked … And his body rocked.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc

Time is a peculiar thing. It forgets to remember. Or is it remembering to forget? People run in circles driven by the flesh, because everything else is just too unpredictable.

Well to hell with the rest of y’all I remember.

The way it smelt … The way he rocked …

And rocked … And rocked … And rocked … And rocked … And rocked … And rocked …

And rocked … And rocked …