the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto normally dry land
Although most of the people remembered the time when the sky was black for two hours with clouds and clouds of pigeons, and although they were accustomed to excesses in nature—too much heat, too much cold, too little rain, rain to
flooding—they still dreaded the way a relatively trivial phenomenon could become sovereign in their lives and bend their minds to its will.
When she scratched the screen door, as in the old days, and stepped inside, the dishes
piled in the sink looked as though they belonged there; the dust on the lamps sparkled; the hair brush lying on the “good” sofa in the living room did not have to be apologetically retrieved, and Nel’s grimy intractable children looked like three wild things happily insouciant in the May shine.
When she scratched the screen door, as in the old days, and stepped inside, the dishes piled in the sink looked as though they belonged there; the dust on the lamps sparkled; the hair brush lying on the “good” sofa in the living room did not have to be apologetically retrieved, and Nel’s grimy intractable children looked like three wild things happily
insouciant in the May shine.
But the free fall, oh no, that required— demanded—invention: a thing to do with the wings, a way of holding the legs and most of all a full
surrender to the downward flight if they wished to taste their tongues or stay alive.
He came regularly then, bearing gifts: clusters of black berries still on their branches, four meal-fried porgies wrapped in a salmon-colored sheet of the Pittsburgh Courier, a handful of jacks, two boxes of lime Jell-Well, a hunk of ice-wagon ice, a can of Old Dutch Geanser with the bonneted woman chasing dirt with her stick; a page of Tillie the Toiler comics, and more
gleaming white bottles of milk.
the trait of being willing to give your money or time
His kindness to them in general was not due to a ritual of seduction (he had no need for it) but rather to the habit he acquired in dealing with his mother, who inspired thoughtfulness and
generosity in all her sons.
As she rocked there,
swayed there, like a Georgia pine on its knees, high above the slipping, falling smile, high above the golden eyes and the velvet helmet of hair, rocking,
swaying, she focused her thoughts to bar the creeping disorder that was flooding her hips.
acoustic device that forces air or steam against an edge or into a cavity and so produces a loud shrill sound
The ribbon- tying was followed by other activity, and when Ajax came that evening, bringing her a reed
whistle he had carved that morning, not only was the green ribbon still in her hair, but the bathroom was gleaming, the bed was made, and the table was set for two.
a state in which you want to learn more about something
Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings; had she anything to engage her tremendous
curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for.