A new life in the spring. But now fatback and cornmeal to eat. Newspapers stuffed in the shoes so that new ones need not be bought, and the washing done without soap. Somehow to skimp off of everything that had long ago been skimped on, somehow to find more necessities the body can do easiest without. The old quilt will make coats for Mazie and Ben; Will can wear Mazie’s old one. This poverty’s arithmetic for Anna, and for Jim—hunger for the gayness whiskey gives the world, battling fear that before spring the mine will engulf him.
A new life … in the spring. Once Anna tried to tell the children. Illumining her drab words with her glowing face, Anna told them of living among trees, having Daddy work where they all could see him, of a good school—not a Catholic one—and milk from cows. Will, watching her face with burning eyes, said, “That a fairy story,