Jacob Lawrence, "The Life of Frederick Douglass No. 4," 1939
Jacob Lawrence, The Life of Frederick Douglass No. 4. In the slaves' quarters, the children slept in holes and corners of the huge fireplaces. Old and young, married and single, slept on clay floors. (1939)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

December 9, 2002:

The tops of tall palms swayed against late-night stars. Mary Ann and Gilligan camped outdoors, their hammocks slung near the clearing. They were cold: their blankets were indoor blankets, no match for the gathering storm. They built a windbreak of woven pandanus leaves, which helped a little.

Their guests were asleep a long time before their day ended. Mary Ann scrubbed the dishes, the oven, her pots and pans, while Gilligan cleaned the clearing, carting garbage away in his rickety little wheelbarrow of bamboo. It was hard labor after the great feast, and they were both tired.

Mary Ann was quiet, but Gilligan knew she was awake. For privacy they'd hung a sheet on a clothesline between them, but he could hear her soft breathing. He lay listening to the wind in the leaves, and watching the winking heavens.

"What are you thinking, Mary Ann?," he asked at last.

She answered slowly. "I was thinking about how I feel now, with all these new people on our island," she said.

He shifted a little, looking toward the hanging sheet which separated them. "How do you feel?," he asked.

She paused before answering, hoping the right word would come to her.

"Lonely," she said.

As they slept, red-tinted clouds passed before the moon, sinking slowly into the sea.