Haibun

Written by: Doris Culverhouse

Cigarette burns dot the seventies green vinyl chair and a floor television doubles as a table with a lamp and figurines. A six foot two inch three hundred pound strong man made the small room look like a doll house. I watched Big Daddy roll Prince Albert in a can on cigarette papers many times and he was precise, meticulous to make sure not to waste his precious costly addictive indulgence. I got the nerve to ask if I could roll a cigarette this evening and to my surprise he let me despite mawmaw’s protest. I was able to roll the paper without spilling a leaf he smiled and I felt I had accomplished something great. Life is simple in the summer time world of leisure and no school.  Big Daddy stayed outside from dawn to dark and worked the fields of corn, beans, tomatoes and okra. His old John Deere tractor made a "pup, pop, pup" sound when he drove down the road to our house. I could hear him coming a mile away and ran out to greet him. He had an idea that women were women and men were men when it came to working and he didn’t allow a woman to help him with the dirty work. A woman was to have pretty clean hands and delicate pale skin in his mind. Any other man said that to me I would give him a verbal lashing. But I overlooked Big Daddy’s faults he had a kind heart and never wanted to hurt anyone. He was generous in trading his vegetables and harsh if someone hurt his family or tried to cheat him. 
Sunday morning he rested and put on a suit and went to church never did he have his bald head uncovered except in church. He had a dress hat for Sunday to wear on the way to church. I miss seeing those fancy hats and suits. A third grade graduate knew how to dress and respect the lord better than any college educated wealthy man. He wouldn’t smoke at the church out of respect.
     Respect left
     With the man’s dress hat
     Equal rights