Sweet Dreams

To:  Donald Trump

Fm: the extended Lane family

A mille from that gold-plated golf course where you will be living for the next two-plus weeks sits the Lamington Black Cemetery. At least seven Lane ancestors are buried there. The number is likely much higher since only thirty-six of the roughly one hundred gravestones bear legible names.

The Lanes who rest near you include three manumitted slaves. Where you ride around in a golf cart, they farmed and labored in other people’s fields and houses.

Among those buried at Lamington is a Civil War soldier who died two months after Fort Sumter. A second may lie there, too, in an unmarked grave. He was member of the U.S. Colored Troops who lived for more than twenty years as a disabled veteran. A murder victim may be buried there as well. No one knows the whereabouts of the girl who was stolen.

Those resting elsewhere include a woman who lived to be 104. Her grandson became the first African American to receive a pharmacy license from the state of Connecticut. His daughter was a bestselling author and my mother.

Most of the family left the area because the soils were not conducive to farming. (There is a reason they call it Sourland Mountain.) Among others not buried there (that we know of) are the conjure women, also the man who carried a toad in his pocket and had red eyes and could levitate. They watch over our family.

Sweet dreams.

One thought on “Sweet Dreams”

  1. Thank you, for this! Your post reminds me of my favorite short story by your mother, “The Bones of Louella Brown.”

    I would have described your mother as pioneering and critically acclaimed. She was a treasure. I would have valued her sardonic, measured, and thoughtful perspective on this surreal moment in which we’ve found ourselves.

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