If you love, adore the moon. If you rob, steal a camel.

Stories for the Long Silk Road

Friday, June 5, 2015

KJ Hannah Greenberg: Power per Unit

The day eventually arrived when my little girl was no longer a child or even a student, but a parent and a teacher. Yet, the amity that I had once felt toward parenting her had gone missing. Whereas we were “buddies” during her youth, once she left for university, I was no longer privy to her comings and goings.

The grownup years that followed her schooling included family portraits, but not revelations. She offered me no glimpses into the tests she endured when planning and executing her wedding, getting pregnant, or delivering her baby.

After a while, I, too, stopped being forthright in my communications. Although my dear one had been the offspring with whom I had visited all of the missions beading the San Antonia River and for whom I had annually purchased a summer pass to Morgan’s Wonderland, she was no longer the confident I brought to amble the River Walk or to pursue antiques in Hill Country. I passed to her no more of my secrets.

That is, I barred her from additional treasure seeking among my mental nests of memoirs, poems, and similar verbal tinkerings. My personal disclosures were suddenly off limits; she had to make due with only my fictions, with only those writings that are more make-believe than reality.

Sadly, that girl expressed no loss in being banded from my confused anecdotes. During those long decades after diapers, when my writings helped me to reminisce, they meant nothing to that increasingly petulant daughter.

So, with a probe fashioned from last season’s words, I jotted down some number of my scrofulous deeds, none of which made me proud. I hoped she’d appreciate me once more if I again served her select, important details of our past shared circumstances. It was beyond my ken that such telegraphed notions might create, for that young woman, an aura of contempt.

She stopped calling weekly.

Accordingly, emotionally exiled, I recorded my memories of our lives in Military City. I wrote how, though poor, I pooled resources with those of other air force moms and managed, somehow, to make life bright and beautiful for us even though our span at Lackland was lackluster.

After reading those accounts, my daughter didn’t embrace me anew, but blamed me, aloud, for her father’s failed return.

That child can never know that Stephen was elsewhere, busily relaxing among other civilizations’ castanets, drinking from cups offered to him by smarmy civil servants, and applauding the surcease of rivalries among America’s friends. What’s more, she must continue to be shielded from the fact that her father remains with his mistress.

Yesterday, I walked alone at SeaWorld, where, I watched porpoises and dolphins dance.  They performed measure for measure.

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Silk Road Mantra

by Suchoon Mo

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road

I go and go

from west to east

I go and go

from east to west

bury me not

in the lone Silk Road


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