Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet 119

Here's two excerpts from a book I recently read, "The Turner House," by Angela Flournoy:

“There ain’t no haints in Detroit,” Francis Turner said. His children jerked at the sound of his voice. That was how he existed in their lives: suddenly there, on his own time, his quiet authority augmenting the air in a room. He stepped over their skinny brown legs and opened the big room’s door.

Even before moving home for good, she’d seen that staying in the Midwest had its rewards, the most significant being that Brianne received Francis Turner’s blessing. A blessing from Francis did not have a spiritual connotation in any formal sense. It meant that Francis would get to know your child in a way that wasn’t possible for everyone in his ever-expanding line. In the final years of his life, Francis spent most days on the back porch, eyeing his tomato patch with good-natured suspicion, listening to his teams lose on the radio, and smoking his pipe. He did these things, and he held Brianne. Right against his chest. Francis had nothing cute or remotely entertaining to offer babies; he didn’t say anything to them at all. Instead he gave them his heartbeat. Put their little heads on his chest and went about his day. Even the fussiest babies seemed to know better than to cut short their time with Francis via undue crying or excessive pooping. Lelah would stand in the back doorway and watch Brianne sleeping against Francis, his large hand holding her up by the butt, and think she could stand a few more years of being close by. How many babies had he held just like that since Cha-Cha was born, using only his heartbeat as conversation?

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