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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

Good Thoughts for Weary Minds


Kitchen    CC0
Kitchen CC0

“If you want to join us, we’re havin’ supper and fillin’ our dinner pails for the morn’,” Clara said.

“Thank you.”

“And, this is for you. I got it from the apple woman,” she said, handin’ me a shiny red apple.

“That’s so sweet, Clara,” I said. “Thank you.”

She blushed and reached for my hand. Together we went, down the hallway and stairs that led to the common kitchen. Except for the scrapin’ of utensils and clatter of plates, it was eerily quiet. None of the women or girls—all standin’ in line holdin’ onto a plate—looked up when we entered. We got our plates and stood at the end of the line.

Once we all had our food, we found a place to sit at one of the splintered pine tables. Finally lookin’ beat, Mary sat across from me. I kept my eyes fastened on her, but she continued to stare down at her plate—a strip of dried pork, a few carrots, and a quarter of a potato. There was a shiny bread wreath in the middle of the table and a bowl of light-colored gravy.

A plump woman, who had not yet uttered a word, rose up from the table and broke the silence with her strong Irish lilt.

“Heavenly Father, may this food provide strength and energy for our tired limbs and good thoughts for our weary minds. Let this drink revive our souls, quench our spirits, and warm the hearts here that have become cold. Protect us. Keep us safe and unharmed, and guide us as we work and slumber side by side. In return, we give thanks, Amen.” Sarah Hodgdon, Fall River, MA 1872

Excerpt: The Angels’ Lament

Book Two, Etched in Granite Historical Fiction Series


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