He was older than her, but she was maternal toward him, nonetheless. “Dear”, “sweetie” and “honey” littered her conversation. But he had grown tired of her kindnesses. She has always been good to him and Caroline, but kindness turned to sympathy upon Caroline’s passing.
Mom doesn’t throw things away, not since the time she got rid of a waterproof travel bag thinking she would never need one, until her knitting group made a trip to the river and everyone but she had a waterproof travel bag. Never again, she vowed.
Language and what it means? What is lost even in the best of translations? There are some of the questions that the author ponders over. along with how language and cultures are much more closely related than they actually seem to be.
She wears a pink shirt and a floppy straw hat but you can see her eyes, big and brown. She smiles wide, not shy at all like you figure you’d be if you were in her country and a Mexican stranger waved at you from her Mama’s car on the side of a road. Mama is already driving again.
In years past they had had larger holiday gatherings. She had grown up living next door to her favorite cousins, her mother’s sister’s family. Christmas Eve and Christmas morning were always with her cousins, both girls, the same ages as she and her brother. To her, they were like sisters. Early Christmas morning, they would open stockings at one of their houses, then their uncle Kip would show up dressed like Santa Claus with a huge box of gifts for all of them.
Ammi has become thin as a bamboo. Her eyes bulge out like a Tiddi. She coughs all day. I cannot tell whether due to lack of food or if she is heartbroken. Still, we are safe. Do not be anxious about us.
Today I turned. Today I turned and saw
beyond the tapestry, beyond the glass,
beyond the lattice, the bee, the bright leaves.
I saw the rising smokes of Baghdad, New York,
Dresden, Portland, Jericho, and Thebes.