Academic journal article Transnational Literature

My Mother's Dress

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

My Mother's Dress

Article excerpt

The day after the eighteenth anniversary of my father's death, my mother empties the μπαουλο that she brought with her on the ship from Greece fifty-eight years ago.

Its contents for the last thirty years: fifteen packets of blankets. Opened once only - to put moth balls in them. She gives me her and my father's στ[varepsilon]φανα for safe-keeping while her house is being renovated and its contents put into storage. She also gives me a fuchsia chiffon dress. The one she wants to be buried in. I cannot remember her ever wearing it, not even in the seventies, when she and my father went to social gatherings (dinner dances, christenings, weddings).

I imagine her in this garish, floaty dress in a coffin. She is much thinner, shorter, now - from severe osteoporosis and years of not cooking for herself. I wish she would choose something warmer, more like her (serious). I wonder if she will want her strappy cream sandals too, the ones she used to wear on special occasions. …

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