Out of a clear blue sky, I remember them. Our grandmother begged us not to forget our beginning, the sound darkness made inside forests or how deep the ocean was the first time we looked beyond its waves. Even in dark places, I have learned where to find light. Every year, the opaque año candle is stubborn. Each year, its flame is more difficult to kindle. I tell myself it is taking its time to breathe, reminding the world of obligations. Its plump little soul, good for at least twenty-five hours, looks into my eyes, burns the tips of my fingers and asks, “What did you remember first?”
In my first memory, it is almost morning. My grandfather is teaching. His voice is calm, deliberate, and everyone listens. I smile into his face. “Big Papa, it’s cold outside.”
He places his finger to his lips and describes the colored stones cemented into soil that will predict our path. I see trees, their heads disappearing like tethered rockets about to launch themselves skyward. Their limbs are heavy. They drop toward the ground and I grab handfuls of green leaves. I think the trees will miss us. I imagine they are begging to follow us.
TOVLI SIMIRYAN is an award-winning writer living in Cleveland, OH with her husband, Yosif. The family arrived in America as refugees from the former Soviet Union (Moldova) in 1992. Tovli’s writings have appeared in a variety of literary magazines including: Ariga, Chabad Magazine, Jewish Magazine, Jewish Ideals-Conversations and Raving Dove. She has published two volumes of poetry: The Breaking of the Glass and Fixing the Broken Glass. Tovli can be reached at: https://www.facebook.com/writingonclouds/ firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://tovlis.wixsite.com/tovliwriter
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