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From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 95, THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS, by Michelle Cruz Skinner

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 5:51 AM

Triggers for October:

1. there’s too much to say

2. I read anything I could find

3. she could call her mom

4. I can’t waste water

5. I can assure you I’ve never been happier

6. something to keep her warm

7. look at the rules

8. I’m no good at this

From “The Lives Before Us”:

      When I was a little girl, I would sometimes dream about my great-grandmother. She would be sitting on her bed, the pillows behind her with the quilted covering she had sewn and two of the dolls whose clothes she’d made herself back when her daughter was younger. In the dreams, she would be talking to me it seemed, but later I knew it was really my father she spoke to. She always begand the same way: by showing my father a photograph. “I lived in the Phillipines once,” she always said. “I had a little boy, just like you.” And I, or really my father, would reply, “I know.” Her eyebrows would raise. “Really?” And she’d put the photo away in a ddrawer by her bed. “I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me.” Great-grandmother, who always wore white, was luminescent in the darkness of her bedroom. The dream always ended with me, or really my father, running out of the room, turning in time to see his grandmother get up to follow him.
      . . .


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