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the first

The yarmarka (farmer's market) is about to close. Some of the people are already packing up, offering their last bruised tomatoes at half-price to anyone walking past them.  I am wandering, staring at bunches of herbs, at the same old options - cabbage, pepper, potato, garlic, apple, cucumber. But then I see a pile of peas. The season must have come early this year. I buy a kilo, and some mint. I know what is for dinner. We have not had it in eleven months.

At home, I rip the bag open, showing them to V. She stands by the kitchen table, eyes wide. I crack one open, showing her the little rounds inside. She plucks one out, her pinky pointing to the ceiling.
"Try it." I tell her.
She does, but she does not like it.

I pull out a bowl for them. She jumps up and down a few times. V always wants to help in the kitchen. I pull her to my lap, and we begin pulling them out from the shells. She learns quickly, tossing them with a flourish into the bowl, a few cascading to the flo…

birds and sparkles

There are explosions, deep booms that rattle the windows. The sounds are thumping around the apartment, as E is about to fall asleep. I go to the kitchen window then the balcony and see no fireworks. E is in her bare feet, looking up at me.
"What is it?" She asks.
"Maybe for men's day." I tell her.
"But there are no lights." She says. "I mean no sparkles, no fireworks."
 I look out the window again, hearing the car alarms and see nothing but a low fog over the river.
She goes back to bed and we talk in low voices as the windows rattle, as the booming rolls across the houses.
"Maybe it is a war." She says, her eyes closed.
My stomach bunches up.
"I don't think so." I tell her.
The windows are jumping around. I press the worst thoughts out, the idea that these are bombs, and how they could easily be the sounds of revolution but aren't. No, they cannot be.
I go to the balcony one more time, craning my head out of the open window. I take my phone and hold it way outside, clicking a picture. There are fireworks, far in the distance on Lenin's Hill.
I show E the picture and she smiles a little, patting my hand once and closing her eyes.
"Stay here until I fall asleep, ok?" She asks me.
Her hands drape across her chest like tiny birds.







Comments

liv said…
Celebration and revolution - so easily confused there.

Loved the last line.

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