In the middle of a fabulous book that has been “in my stack of “Must read.” Essay in a small chapter in the book, Cementville, by Paulette Livers
“So many have come back. The dead, the wounded, the incarcerated. The insane. People remark how the blacks are acting odd—and wonder privately whether the riots in the big cities could possibly spread out here, infecting our peace—because the women too are not the same, their quiet natures flavored now with a rare new anger. Then too there are the strangers streaming into town, trying to take all our jobs at the new paper plant. People are fractious.
A man took a walk on the moon the other day, “a giant leap for mankind,” he called it. But we walk around our town like we don’t know the place, as if body snatchers might have snuck in overnight and replaced all of us with replicas. There are black wreaths on too many doors, broad ribbons of yellow plastic around oaks in almost every yard. Come home, come home, the yellow ones say. Go back, say the black ones, go back to where you came from and send my real baby home to me.