Light on the Water

A peach rose up over the town, a perfect pink peach on the horizon, and strands and ribbons of music undulated over the water. Big Brock just sang “Gypsy Woman” so soulful, and his voice blew the tree tops, his mighty voice from heaven.

And the peach rose higher, its light on the water, on the water. And swarms of golden insects filled the headlights, and frogs sang Big Brock echoes. I parked on the river bank and the golden insects dry rubbed my face, filled my nose and ears. This was the last rustling, spring rain. All sound was music, all owlets and fox kits and coyote pups and bobcat kittens all singing.

An anchored barge floated at the shore, its spotlight aimed and lighting the peach, the glowing peach on the water, and even a barge captain prayed and praised and sang “Gypsy Woman.” The peach floated ever higher, brighter light on the water, the water.

And now the peach burst and became the holy woman Luna, more pregnant with every second, rising, and I whispered, Luna, and songbirds on nests whispered Luna, and the orb filled the bluff shadows with eerie light. Big Brock sang Songs of Prose from his holy throat and the holy Oblate Fathers intoned, Amen.

On the road up the bluff, a doe named Gypsy Woman stepped onto the pavement and I stopped and stood in the street and flagged down all the cars, and no one complained. And Gypsy Woman crossed and melded into the forest.

The Big Brock Band sang me up the ridgeline and on to home: lonely blues traveler from the Miles Davis Festival. The corn rows were lit by fireflies, and contrails pink, and the treetop torches, and the light danced.

Who wants to go home when music is blood and blood surges and hearts pound as one when pretty, lithesome women dance and rustle skirts when men in finery strut when old people remember love when Luna touches herself on the water, on the water.

At the door, moths swarmed me. At the door, meowing from inside. At the door, regret. At the door, I thought of Caroline who gasped and orgasmed at a finger touch. At the door, I recited Psalm 100. At the door, barge motors throbbed. At the door, I thought of light on the water, on the water.

I walked in. I held the cat.

Her name was Gypsy Woman.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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