Southern Secrets

Cast Bronze, 2003
15" x 14" x 28"

I've known him all my life-in fact, when I was a slave he owned me-heart, body and soul. I admired his gallant looks-how he rode up high on his brown bay mare. I was aware that I caught his eye when I was only 15. Right away I knew I was special to him because of the nature of my chores.

Then the war came. I knew I could count on his protection, because of his ability to see we slaves through the great floods and the plagues of illness. But the war was different. I think his spirit was totally broken. The treatment by occupying forces plus the destruction of his property was devastating-even we slaves felt sorrow in our hearts. Being of a forgiving nature, along with my natural affection and respect for all people, this created within me a sense of responsibility for him. I helped nurse his war wounds and tried to keep things running on the plantation. The loss of the leg plus his broken spirit moved me to a point where I did not choose to go North with the rest of my family, even though my freedom was very important to me.

As time passed, we became common law man and wife. My strengths were beginning to surpass his. The old dog that helped guard his property and chase down runaway slaves also became toothless and docile.

And I now have become the protector of both of them. Here we are now, he in his old age, me in my prime.