in my mother’s Greek kitchen

My mother taught me to be afraid of everything.  She taught fear before she taught me to walk.
She yelled at my father because he stayed in treetops too long. He gathered birds. She called him desire on fire. My father taught me songs about freedom, eagles and our gods, who lived in a temple, on a mountain above our city.  We broke dishes when we danced, we felt good, we were happy. Pomegranates for luck, hung blue glass eyes on trees, we kept away evil. We were afraid.
I was born in the kitchen of our stone house, along with steel and wrought iron utensils.
Next to the spoons. In my mother’s kitchen something was always breaking, next to the spoons, next to the fire.

by Helen Vitoria

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