#131 Interment

by Kelly Robinson

Most folks don’t bury their groceries when they get home. But most folks don’t have an Uncle Hovie. My uncle had stopped eating most anything store-bought, convinced that “they” were putting poison in it.

Mamaw’s garden was his only sustenance these days, aside from the paper cartons of milk in his padlocked refrigerator, milk that was thrown out after the seal was broken, and occasionally hurled against the wall in outrage when the markings on it seemed suspect.

The garden wouldn’t give up the goods that year. The squash withered, and the sweet potatoes were eaten up with wireworms. It was Mamaw’s idea to buy some from the store while Hovie was at the doctor’s.

I hopscotched while Mamaw set to buryin’ and spat her snuff on the soil. It was the same color as the coffee grounds she scattered around the rose bush. Between the coffee and the snuff, I wondered if her insides were black.

“What did they look like? The ‘tatas with the worms?”

“Like somethin’ dead,” Mamaw said, “But still movin’.”

“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,” I sang. “The worms play pinochle on your snout.”

“What’s pea-knuckle?” I asked.

“A card game.”

Later she would go back and exhume the sweet potatoes, hoping Hovie wouldn’t notice they were Georgia Jets when she had planted Beauregardes.

She pulled herself up and wiped dirt on her house dress, spitting another black glob onto the soil.

“I’m too old for this shit.”


Bruce Roush said...

Good story-very descriptive-a perfect last line!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful storytelling! The dialogue's authentic, and I adore the reference to her black insides. That last line is perfect, too.

Flutterby said...

Wonderful, unique story. The voice of the characters are authentic and it has a dose of humor, too.

nijoli said...


Sarah Laurenson said...

Great descriptions and I love the names of the plantings and how the new one differs from what was originally sown.

Anonymous said...

I love all of this. I love the uncle character and I love Mawmaw.

The first line of this story is also a great attention grabber.

Paul (#109)

SzélsőFa said...

really creative - and the first line got my attention, too.
i had to read twice to get the meaning of it, though :) (my bad.)