Missing Moms

Maybe Frank doesn’t like the quiet since I’ve stopped talking because he says, “Emma June, I’m sorry about your mom being gone.”

My eyes water. I grab a stick, snap it in two.

“I’m sorry you don’t get on with your real mom,” I mutter.

“Maybe I’d like her if she’d raised me. She didn’t. She gave that job to her sister. I only live with her now because Aunt Sissy died. I don’t have any other kinfolk.”

Like me. I only have Daddy now. “What does your mom do in Holly Gap?”

“Nothing really. Takes in ironing. Doesn’t leave the house unless she makes enough to buy groceries. Sulks mostly.”

Like Daddy. But when I’m around, he tries to Bury his sadness.

“She never drives anywhere, takes you places?” I ask.

Frank shakes his head and gives me a devilish eye. “Sometimes I get to drive her old jalopy, though. When Aunt Sissy died, Ma got the junk heap and me.”

Now I feel bad about giving him that dog food sandwich.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket, 1928

daily post prompt: Bury

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