This is a story about self’s parents. It was in Mayor of the Roses, her second collection, published by Miami University Press:
The woman leaning forward is self’s mother.
She’s leaning forward, as if to kiss him. There’s a mark on his cheek; perhaps she’s done it already. They are both smiling.
These were my parents in Manila, circa 1956. They were happy: they had always been happy. The happiness of their marriage was like a reproach.
I didn’t think he looked that ugly, but I hear a voice saying, over and over, La unica problema es que no es guapo. It’s a woman speaking, her voice is thick with fury. It was probably my grandmother. This, at least, was what my mother led me to believe.
* * * * *
I am collecting old pictures now. I don’t know what this tells me about this stage of my life.
Here’s a picture self drew when she was about five. Who is that woman and why did self draw her wearing a green kimono? Who knows. Dearest Mum had the picture framed.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.