Talking Book

My Blue Satin Slippers


I am infatuated by Julius’s stories, always the ones concerning slaves, even though those are the stories he tells. What a terrible business, slavery. John is not as sympathetic as I am. He’s not a believer in magic. Take the story of Becky for instance.

Becky was separated from her son, the poor thing. The bond of woman to child is. So I’ve heard… I wouldn’t know… First her son is transformed into a hummingbird then he is mockingbird. All the conjuring is to reunite him with Becky. What could be more beautiful, magical, heartbreaking.

I sympathize with Becky but I never put myself into her shoes. She’s a woman, yes, like me, but she’s a black woman. I understand from afar. Instead I slip my feet into my own blue satin shoes, put on my pale blue dress, wrap a white apron around myself, and wave my handkerchief about in the air while I listen to Julius’s words.

Never mind what John thinks, when he dismisses the magic slaves have. I say, “the story bears the stamp of truth, if ever a story did.”

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