In this first collection of the stories and poetry of Sheree Renée Thomas, memory is the only force strong enough to counter the terrors of a scarred and forgetful world. Thomas’s characters are people scraping by in slave quarters and institutional margins, people in search of freedom and transformation who come face to face with apocalyptic powers. Thrown back on their wits and their lore, they turn to unexpected sources to make sense of things: to girl-children, old women, old skills, old magic, and forgotten ties of kinship with the natural world. Rooted in the Mississippi Delta, Thomas’s language is the stuff of life and the struggle to call things by their true names. It reaches through time in search of the transformation that will allow us to survive diaspora with memory and soul intact. These shotgun lullabies puncture the walls between us and our past, the people and their birthright.