pearls around the neck 51
With you, mom, one never knows.
Where would you have hidden the engravings of Goya you didn’t like?
Now it’s up to me to find them, in chests and boxes, thinking of where you would have chosen to hide
Now that you’re gone, now that I can’t ask.
I know that I’ll have the answer, because, unexpectedly, now that you’re not here, I feel closer to you
than ever.
Like this, everything with you was different, until you left.
You know what’s happening to me?
I have a thousand images, like sparkles from the past, which burst in my mind day after day.
They are like winks of your humorous whit, which tell me that you are with me always.
They are flashes of you, which run through me, when I look in the mirror. In a gesture of mine, I see
you again.
They are your after-glow, when I am barefoot, and discover the same bunion you had, on my feet.
They are the bells in my voice, which remind me of your greeting when entering the house, and saying
They are happy images of summer at the beach, which come to mind when I see guava jam (remember
how much you liked it).
You had to offer it until we all were stuffed with it.
If you didn’t share it, you didn’t enjoy it.
It’s thus, when one shares, one enjoys more. You taught me that.
You gave me the primordial: life and so much more.
You gave me your image, waiting for me on the balcony.
Your look, thankful for everything, always.
Your smile, and your joy.
Happily, in my sadness, your presence surprises in infinite ways. Like how one day, the engravings you
hid away, will surprise me.
And I know, I’ll remember you, when the sadness has diminished, with a smile.
A letter
Author: Paula Saporiti, Uruguay, 2010
English translators: Catherine Beeckman, Susan Surrat
Illustration: a picture of Lilly Amorim, mother of Paula and daughter of the famous Uruguayan
writer, Enrique Amorim, poet, screenwriter, novelist and friend of Federico Garcia Lorca.
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