Dismal Spirit

Cast Bronze, 2007
13" X 15" X 24"

Dere was steam comin' from de swampland dat night. Seem like it was smolderin', like it was on fire, steam risin' like white flames. I was what you would call a maroon. I lived in a little hut on some poles, stuck high up in the cypress trees. You see, that was my way of hidin' from de dogs and de gators and prison guards. On this particular night, seem like everything green was pantin' heavy and breath came from they bodies like the clouds descended from hebben and settled right hyar on my dismal home. I never seed it like dat befo'. Funny thing, but I don't think de critters was ursed to dis. Dey all jus' stopped dere noisemakin', dere croakin' and a-hissin', dere screechin' and a-growlin' and jus' stayed hid somewheres as if God almighty came down lookin' for 'em wid his switchin' stick. Yeah, somepin strange 'bout dis night, for off in the distance jus' floatin' through de swamps like she be on a pillow cloud, feet not touchin' the groun', water not splashin' 'round her legs, jus' glidin', wid her head not bobbin' up and down.

I don't know what day or year or nothin' 'bout what time it was, but I knowed my grandpappy lived in places like dis. And when I escaped from de chain gang and prison house some time back, I just seemed to take to these swamps like it tweren't nothin'.

But back to this lady I saw. She was dressed kinda fancy-in a way I wanted her to see me an' catch me lookin' at her. I knew she couldn't do me no harm, and I was hypnodized by her prettiness. But it was the ghostlike manner in which she moved that kept me from revealin' myself. So I jus' leaved her 'lone, and 'lowed her to keep on where she was goin' wid her suitcase in her hand and her coattail jus' a'flappin' in de fog-filled night that was my dismal home.