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Showing posts from June, 2015

For Country

She was known to the villagers as The Widow. Her name was, however, Zafta. She was my grandmother.

“It’s pronounced vossNAYick. Vosnaik. It’s Polish. Like you,” she said, her eyes obscured behind her black, hand-tatted veil. Her fingers curled around the elegant goblet sublimely filled with Sambuca while her right hand accentuated the emphases. Her goblet was always filled with a clear liquor, so she could get away with drinking it without making excuses.

We ate duck that night. “Your grandfather left us, your mother and me, when she, your mother, was ten, about the same age you were when you got your first bike.” She took a small bite from her plate. For the longest time I thought it was because smaller bites forced us to slow down and savor our food, taught us to not overeat. Later I realized it was because larger bites interfered with her ability to speak during dinner. “Stubborn. Filthy. Handsome was your grandfather.

And I was gullible.” Her face revealed little, mainly because t…

Blue Humans

Often we like to think that we are oceans,
that we may constantly revive and resuscitate ourselves,
that our blue-green algae provides enough to others around us
that we believe they cannot live without us.

While that may be true for the oceans,
it isn’t true for us. Billions of years from now,
the oceans will not lament our loss.
They will not fill themselves with sorrow.
They will not stop churning for the moon.

The blue is not sadness.
It is the color of envy.
Green is jealous.

-JR Simmang