Friday, April 1, 2011

Unnamed Madonnas: Chapter Thirteen

 First letter: Easter 1950

“We were on a train for many days,” she wrote, in a beautiful handwriting. “We slept and ate on the train.  We saw mountains, open land unfolding for ever and ever, a cluster of houses here and there, then, out of nowhere, wild beasts rushing through the prairie, galloping faster than the train.  Nothing but land wherever the eyes stopped. I couldn’t  wait  to get to my destination, to go to Heaven.  Heaven is called Montana, close to God,  the clouds. wars."
Tina is very thin,   chestnut hair around dark eyes. I am tiny and with a frightened look. This was not a photograph I had ever seen.
The next letter is a month later.
            “I’m worried about little Silvia.  I’m so glad everything is behind us, the fights, the gossip.”

I savor each line, each connection.  Why she worried about me is not explained. I read carefully, and yet voraciously.
I  read and reread. I fall asleep. I wake in the middle of the night, turn the lamp by the bed, and I read some more.
Each letter is a stage of my life I do not recollect.
She talks about  the house, the animals, the planting, and then always about me.  “Silvia is getting along. I made the right decision.”
 I was reading with a fever pace, quickly, skipping lines, words I didn’t know, looking for something. I wanted to breathe in the life that was right next to me.  If a letter contained a certain incident I remembered, I read it again and again.
It was morning when I stopped reading.


  1. what the heck man, this must be an april fool's joke making this post so short - shame on you Rosaria :)

  2. Each letter is a stage of my life I do not recollect.

    it's uncanny when that happens. it happened to me not so long ago while rereading letters. lets me know that our histories are mutable, nothing nailed down and sure.