The war had passed a couple of months ago. At least that's what Ma told us. Nobody fought anymore. That's what Grandpa told us. The slaves were free now. That's what the poster on the painted wall at the Post Office told us.
We were supposed to be in what those posters called "An Economic Rise!"
"Why am I so hungry Momma?"
"Shh! Little one!" My momma crooned, rubbing my back with her calloused hand, worn scrawny and almost to the bone from too much scrubbing and hard work.
"Your Daddy'll be back soon." She promised for the hundredth time.
I could only hope.
We had been without food now for ten days. Momma and I, (I was the oldest of three you see,) had let the hard bits of biscuit softened in water go to the young 'uns. The two babies were barely alive and we had patiently scooped a tiny bit of the gruel onto our fingertips and hand fed them. Momma couldn't feed them her milk anymore. Not enough food herself, I guessed.
The bits of vegetables we could scrounge from the nearby woods had run out and we couldn't walk farther and get back before dark. How I hated potatoes!
How I would adore a potato! Just thinking about the sweet orange flesh made my stomach growl alarmingly. Momma started to sing.
"Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home" Her voice carried throughout our house. It comforted me. Bouncing off the bare floors and curtain less windows. We'd had to sell most of our furniture for food.
"Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home." Her words trailed off and opening my eyes, I searched her face. Oh! What if my momma went away like grandma had? I couldn't bear the thought! She was holding her breath.
"I hear something!" She whispered. Out the door we ran!
Daddy had come back!
I don't know if the uniform is correct or that's where this trunk came from, but this is what I congured up in my head the instant I saw this.
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