But on that first night, our wedding night, those sounds of my momma and daddy rose up around us like the resurrected dead: I knew love then, the doom and joy of it, the pain of Leston inside me and the pleasure of knowing the promise of a future. I knew only then that I'd stayed out on the porch because I loved them both enough to wish my daddy dead, but loved them both enough to wish him back.
I have taken care of myself since the moment I pulled the blanket over him, a fact Leston already knew before he'd even let out his words to the cold morning of our room. I knew what loss was, knew what it was God could take away from you, His answers to prayer sometimes the greatest curse you could call down. But even so, I prayed right then and there, my husband sitting on the edge of our bed and growing old in what seemed only the few moments we'd been awake, myself going the same way, too, I knew, that the baby inside me would be born alive and breathing, with ten fingers and ten toes. That was all I sought, what I figured couldn't be too much to ask.
Copyright © 1991 by Bret Lott
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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