With each yank the duck squawked
but Mama kept pulling out feathers.
She needed the down to replace old,
flat pillows in faded striped ticking
Seven children slept on the pillows.
Brothers pillow-fought as peals of
laughter raised the roof of the
weathered house–a home that lasted
and bonded us with the best glue.
Love brand. They don’t make glue like
that anymore. At least, they don’t carry
it at Wal-Mart. But they carry pillows.
And milk. Cold, from the refrigerated
bin. Milk we drank started out warm,
hand-squeezed from the Jersey cow
into a tin lard pail, then poured into a
glass molasses jug with a metal bail.
We tied a cord to the bail and put the
jug of milk into a well of cool water.
At supper, the milk tasted good with
cornbread and chopped onion soaked
in it, Daddy’s favorite treat, served
with sugar-cured, smokehouse ham.
After our meal, we took a ride in our
new but used Model T. Watched dust
clouds behind us on Silver Rock, the
911 name of a road that had no name,
back then. And no traffic jams–like
Wal-Mart’s parking lot on Saturdays.
© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols