Purple is the flower

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Author: Daneva Dansby
Date: Spring 2008
From: Kola(Vol. 20, Issue 1)
Publisher: Black Writers' Guild
Document Type: Short story
Length: 4,693 words
Lexile Measure: 890L

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"I'm just going to the store, Weasel. Be a good girl for Mama and watch your baby brother."

"Do I have to, Ma?"

"Won't be long baby, I promise. Not like I'm running away or something."

Mama's all dressed up. Got on her red pumps and the white dress she wears to church on Sunday. Nellie says the dress ain't appropriate for church, that it shows off too much of Mama's big, dark bosom. But I like the dress, and the way it curves round Mama's hips and makes her look all pretty. And so does Reverend Sigmund. Whenever he shakes Mama's hand after the service he looks straight down the top of that dress, as if he expects Mama's breasts to pop out any minute.

"Thanks for coming, Mrs. Portam. Did you enjoy the service?"

"Sure did. Reverend, best one this year," and then Mama would cough so that her breasts would bounce around a little. Reverend Sigmund would blink, all stunned like, and then smile at me and my brother.

"Well, yes. My! Your children certainly are getting big ..."

Mama always laughs about it later. Says that even God's messengers know a nice pair of boobs when they see them. Only it ain't Sunday, and I be sure Mama not going to church.

"But Mama. I want to go over to the park," I say, thinking maybe: some of my friends be hanging out and watching them junior high boys mess around the court.

"Take your brother with you, or go over to Nellie's, Weasel. Maybe if you're nice she'll look after him for a while. I gotta go, sweetie, your Uncle David's waiting outside for me." Mama bends over and gives me a kiss. Her face smells like powder and perfume. I love the smell.

"I'll be back in a while," and she's gone, teetering down the front steps with her bottom wriggling around in that dress. Uncle David is standing on the sidewalk. He sees me watching and waves. I don't like Uncle David. And I especially don't like the way he's always squeezing Mama's thigh with this grin on his face, all pleased like.

"How you doing in school, Weasel?" he always asks me, like it's the only question he knows.


"Good! You know I didn't stay in school long, Weasel, but I always say ..." I don't listen much to Uncle David, he's boring, and his breath smells like sardines. Mama says not to be too hard on him, that he just wants me to like him. I know that ain't true though, he's much more interested in touching Mama's body with those big hands of his. He's just like all the rest. Figures if he's nice to me, Mama will like him better.

Mama walks over to Uncle David and kisses him on the mouth. Uncle David puts his hand on Mama's behind and gives it a squeeze. I shut the door.

It's the middle of the summer and the house...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A180798325