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by Joan Logghe

Sofia had a secret even Sofia didn’t know. Something about candles at night, no taste of pork in her grandmother’s house. Something.

Shadowed memory of her grandmother in her dark bedroom, her voice nearly a whisper. It passes down through the women. That and tell your daughter.

Something about the farolitos lined up, a top to spin. Our family came from Spain, not Mexico, hundreds of years ago, you know. This is your great-grandfather, Israel.

See how handsome he was. Sofia recalls it all, but mixed with other recollections, the smell of pine at Christmas, candles on Sunday at mass, the sight of blood at butchering each fall.

Something about candles to Saint Esther. It didn’t all make sense. We came here from Spain. Look hard at this photograph. Her mother’s voice in the kitchen light, flour in the air.

She’d tell her daughters something soon. She’s been meaning to. For hundreds of years. She’ll tell them soon. She will.

~ ~ ~ ~

Joan Logghe is an award-winning poet who lives in Española, New Mexico.