Ethel Waters

4 01 2018

Saints of Jazz

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977)

Look at the sun. Pouring. Through the branches of that tree. Like Ethel. Dragged around like a rag doll. Through the swamp. The smell of giant tupelo and bald cypress. At 13. Ethel was given away. Like a second hand kitchen chair. To a big barrel of a man. Ass three blocks wide. F***ed her for fun. Beat her when he got bored. He left. She was left. To fend for herself. Sometimes it seems. You don’t recognize love. Until its gone.

President Truman increased. The minimum wage. From 40 cents to 75. J Edgar Hoover gave Shirley Temple. A tear gas fountain pen. Ethel was jealous. Her lover cheated. With heroin. And left her early one morn. He went to Europe to find his soul. Ethel went to San Francisco. The best things in life should be put on a…

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