BIG SWEET LIFE • by Tony Burnett

I set that purty gold trophy up ’tween the pictures o’ my mama an my daddy. Right there on the mantle ’bove the fireplace.

My mama usta say, “Boy, you shore can make that fiddle sound sweet.”

An my daddy says, “That jus’ may be, but you has gotta git yo’ head outta the clouds an learn to do somethin’ with yo’ hands.”

An mama says, “Papa, he play that fiddle with his hands.”

An my daddy says, “You know what I mean. He need a backup plan.”

And back and forth like I weren’t even there.

So I put that purty gold Grammy up ’tween their pictures on the mantel. The mantel me an’ my li’l sugar baby now owns. Thank you mama.

My purty li’l sugar baby smiles real big an gives me a squeeze. I saved her fo’ hundred dollars today — fixin’ the brakes on her Caddy. Thank you daddy.

An my sugar baby cuddle up next to me. She say, “I shore do love you.”

Tony Burnett is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and an award-winning songwriter. He writes a science and nature column for a regional Texas newspaper. His fiction has been published in national literary journals.

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