OLWG · writing

OLWG#145- Green Penny Stamp

This piece was written for OLWG#145

“My father was a big man, a burly man, covered with soft dark hair. No hair on his face though, he was always clean-shaven. He would labour with his straight razor every morning. He left the impression of being powerful. He was powerful and round; with a large round head and broad strong shoulders.  He was barrel-chested, with big round hams for hands. He travelled for a living. He was gone a lot but he would send postcards back for me and my sisters. Thick envelopes would arrive for Ma and she would retire to her bedroom, clutching her letters, when they arrived. Sometimes we wouldn’t see her again for days.

Cara, Lucy, and I would marvel over the postcards.  There were intricate photographs on the front; and always, a brief scribbled note from Pa on the back. A green penny stamp with a picture of a dead president assured timely delivery.

“I remember once when Pa went to Fort Smith to officiate at a mass execution. Arkansas was beginning their transition from hanging to the electric chair. They didn’t have enough chairs to get rid of the whole gang at once, so the judge sentenced them all to hang. I got a postcard with the picture on it. It’s over there in the top drawer if you want to take a look. You’ll see my father in the picture. He’s the big guy in the dark suit, standing off to the side.”

The prompts were:

  1. smoky stage lights
  2. postcards from the execution
  3. it’s got nothing to do with me