Aint No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down

Aint No Grave Gonna Hold Me Down

January 27, 2016 2 By Ron Burch

I hold this baby high in the air because it don’t deserve to live. It don’t. I am a good God-fearin’ woman but I believe what I need to believe.

Leviticus says:  “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.”

That’s what Mary Virginia chose to do. She chose to remain hostile to the Lord and me with what she did. I know where this baby come from.
+++++She come in this night to the Emergency Room all swollen up like some roadside kill and she once being my best friend and all but I haven’t seen her in over a year. Her Mam said she had gone to Redlands to visit her cousins, and we all thought that was a lie, we did, because there were still lights on in her room when we drove by their house on State Route 36/37 late at night and we could see the curtains slightly peeled and a face in it that we said to each other is that Mary Virginia?
+++++But I’m workin’ my shift as Night Nurse when she come in all bleedin’ and screamin’. Her Mam and Pap with her as well as her older brother Dixon. I know Dixon but he ghosts me as they rush past.
+++++And that baby start to come like it was at the startin’ gate and somebody shot off the pistol. Doc Godwin said, “Jesus Christ” ’cause that baby is ginormous like the devil. It was like a giant tryin’ to push its way out of her womb, which ain’t surprisin’ seein’ how damn big her entire family is. Hell, Dixon is almost 6’8″ as big as Pap and even Mary Virginia is 6’2″. But that baby is climbin’ out of there like a worker crawlin’ through a sewer pipe.
+++++Then I know what’s goin’ on ’cause that baby looks just like its Pap, who is standin’ right next to it, tryin’ to help, Dixon, my old beau, Dixon who left me a year ago without even a word like “goodbye.”
+++++This is evil comin’ out of this womb because I know whose baby this is and like Leviticus says we will inflict disasters for your sins and that bloody baby squirts out right into my hands and Doc cleans it and cuts the cord and I can’t stop staring into its eyes, its evil eyes, and Dixon looks at me and gets his camera ready for the happy moment, but I raise that baby over my head to dash out its brains because it is the brains born of sin, and he snaps a picture of me, even though I don’t want my picture taken, he won’t have my soul anymore, and I hurl that baby because I know now, deep down, that I love Dixon more than I ever will love the Lord and that really is the wild animal deep inside me.

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Ron Burch's work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Cheap Pop, Eleven Eleven, Pank and other journals. He's been nominated for a Pushcart and first novel, Bliss Inc., was published by BlazeVOX Books. He lives in Los Angeles.

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