My floor is littered with scraps and patches; each one seems to require special permission. Sometimes the patch conceals a hole; sometimes it weaves new cloth. Certainly what happened is important. But it’s ephemeral, conjectural, contextual and it’s evocative.
I worried about Mommy when the voice reminded registered aliens to report their addresses to the Post Office. Did Mommy have to do this? Did she know? Had she taken care of it? The stern man interrupted my afternoon cartoons. Failure to register was a federal offense. Was my mother an alien? I knew they [...]
My America echoes with the voices of my family, the old immigrant neighborhoods my Father remembered, the characters who lived there, newcomers, natives and children like me. I ran across some of them in the great hall at Ellis Island. I listened for frightened whispers and halting speech in the examining rooms. I heard mutters, [...]
Sometimes they weigh me down, the promises duty binds upon me and the gifts I can never repay. Those days, I am haunted by history, especially the dreams stolen from young dreamers.
First, the sandwich bag was all wrong. It could be any plastic bag that found its way into the house, usually cradling my Dad’s stiff shirt or the Tribune. These bags were huge, unwieldy and, by the time they reached the cafeteria, sticky inside and out. The sandwich didn’t float out— often the bag would have to be removed from the sandwich.