The Sounds That Wake Me

ACCESS PURCHASE
Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

The Sounds That Wake Me

by Savannah Sipple
Southern Cultures, Vol. 25, No. 2: Inside/Outside

"My mother says she can remember the snap. I wasn't there, / but I can hear it, too . . . "

I’ll tell you what, Papaw was a drunk, the sweetest man alive.
Sober: A good husband; a loving father; he worked hard regardless,
but I’ve never heard tell if he was able to keep a job
or if the family moved because of his drinking. On a binge, he beat Granny.
He’d come home at 2am and beat her and she’d have to fry a chicken
or fix something for him and his friends, her brothers, to eat. He beat her
with his belt. My mother says she can remember the snap. I wasn’t there,
but I can hear it, too, the way it caught the back of Granny’s legs,
the way she whimpered don’t. I can see the thin cotton layer
of her nightgown that may as well not even been there.
I hear the snap, too, almost every day.

RELATED CONTENT