Happy Father’s Day Daddy…


30. Women in cottonfield

The painting is from an acrylic and watercolor I did in 2012,  it is one of my favorites as its subjects are from the memory of my childhood; of a place that I loved, and as a child understood the hardships of the times.  My daddy passed away in 1977, he was a good man; he was a Native American farming and living in Northern Alabama.  He farmed almost 500 acres of cotton as a “sharecropper” he made $80 a month and we lived in a tarpaper shack on a small patch of green next to a natural spring that ran into a small creek.  He was the parent who raised me and I would ride on cool mornings to the field in the back of a wagon pulled by two old mules.  At the end of the day I nestled in that same wagon on a soft bed of cotton for the trip home.  My hopes are that he is somewhere beyond the veil of life sitting on the back of a wagon with the sweet smell of smoke from his pipe circling his head as he visits with those he loved and respected.  I wrote the poem below as a tribute to him drawn on the memories of those day.

“A  tribute to Daddy”

 

The Chickasaw Farmer

Rickety old man stood on the cotton wagon a tin of yellow salve in his hand.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

A hot southern sun hides behind the willows on muddy Flint Creek, cotton pickers sweat falling on parched lips taste like salty brine while they wait for the Old man to call “quitting time”.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Young, old, children, women and men bloody fingers cut by the barbs of the cotton boll dig into the old yellow salve tin.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Tar bottom sacks emptied of the soft white gold weary feet follow two old sway back mules down a rutted road.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Crimson clouds from wagon wheels whirl around tired bodies and drained minds; feels like pickers were working in the cotton fields since the beginning of time.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Mules stop at the fork of the road as the cotton pickers walked into the dark of the night the Old man’s heart filled with appreciation, because he is just an old Chickasaw farmer trying to survive inside a “White Nation”.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

©2015.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Author: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Artist/Writer of Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Thoughts, Opinions Born in Alabama to a Native American (Chickasaw) father and an emotionally absent mother since the Author's birth, raised by her father, her Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman whom were all grand storytellers. As early as four years old she was roaming the countryside around her home alone or with her father; and at night she sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. Summers she lived with her fathers' sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was that she would discover a library, and mingle with her aunt's circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was her playground on the weekends. Her aunt encouraged her imagination by introducing her to journaling, which she filled with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child. Her love of art and painting came through the teachings of a grammar school teacher which she pursues when the well of words dry up when writing. Throughout the years along with her father, great-great-grandmother, and her beloved Aunt Francis, other influences were her high school English teacher Mrs. S. Odom, writers Faulkner, Capote, Fitzgerald, and Harper Lee. Later in life, she discovered the warm and comic writing of Grace Paley. The vivid poetry of William Carlos Williams; the strong poetry of Phyllis McGinley, and the world's most exciting women, Maya Angelou are some of the poets at the top of her list. Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to write buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It laid dormant, gaining experiences all written in hidden journals. These experiences, the contents of these journals became short stories and poetry reading to share with the world. She writes of many life experiences in poetry format; questioning everything from Mother Nature to God...the poetry is raw and may not be understood by all. Yet, it comes from deep within and reads of truth within her soul. The harshness that shrouded her life would cause her to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of her writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial her mother frankly portrayed. Today, she enjoys her children, grand and great grandchildren, her four-legged companion Mason, they live in Southern Wisconsin...far from her southern roots; however she continues to write and paint daily. Ann has published in Kindle eBooks and paperbacks at Amazon.com: Book #1 Echoing Images from the Soul 2012 Book #2 Beyond the Voices 2012 Book #3 Reflections of Poetry 2013 Book #4 Honeysuckle Memories 2013 Book #5 Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations 2014 Book #6 My Journey into Art 2014 Book #7 Asterial Thoughts

6 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day Daddy…”

  1. The metaphorical semblance between the wagon and the man is powerfully presented here without exhaust of visualization. The poem takes me, leads me by the hand into a field…. Nice!

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