Tuesday, August 16, 2011
OPEN LETTER TO JULIA
Fading from life, my first cousin.
In my mind I hold on to you. As you were at twenty-four to my childhood years.
Your lovely frame, six feet, size seven. Blonde, peaches and cream. Could have been international model of the year. And I looked up to you. Your smile, your figure,
your tailored dark suit with the café con leche silk shirt,
and your hands, soft, almost a transparent white, with
long artistic fingers, a couple of doves, folded on your lap,
It's difficult for me to see how you sound, look today.
'Cause it's your spirit I feel fading. And your letter:
Imagine me a high executive woman always served by
cook, maid, chauffer. Me, since the take over, reduced
to housekeeper. To fill up my time, I make two daily trips
to the market instead of one. I make two. I do it on purpose,
you say. And I know you don’t even like those chores.
But today is all you have to keep you occupied.
And I worry knowing your idea of health care is being a
casual vegetarian. And have allowed yourself to become
obese. And the disappointments, nephew Andres not the
executive-married-with-children you always dreamed of.
And you and Hernan, your brother, spend evenings watching
television thankful for each other’s company. I worry.
And that other image keeps coming to the front, you at twenty-
four. And I realize it’s life cycle coming full circle. A reminder
of what is to come. Something to reckon with. But my pain is
deep for I always expected you to be there. Your twenty-four
to my childhood years.
Camincha is a pen name for a California-based writer. The San Francisco Bay Guardian has said of her work: “Camincha frames the ordinary in a way that makes it extraordinary, and that is real talent.”