Fire and Ice by Sufia Duez


Fire and Ice 

Through the window there is a cardinal and through the cardinal there is a way of seeing red. That’s what she used to say, anyway. She, being her mother. Her humorous but resentful mother. You know, anyway, we haven’t spoken for eight years, and we never speak of her anymore.

It didn’t matter to me much because she was the kind of woman who walked the woods barefoot. Except in winter when she would disgrace herself with a pair of worn-to-the-thread boots…naked. Chanting, no, screaming “Hare Krishna!” That was the kind of woman she was— some “baba-cool.” But, no one was kinder than her mother. People should know this. Maybe you have to have some lunacy to be so nice.

If only the village could see it—she was extraordinary, but they were afraid. You see, mother was an animal, I mean, she was a free spirit, not like the rest of us.

But no one ever expects a fire. What was this, Sodom and Gomorrah? They were being punished. IT was her fault, she forced them to run in the woods naked, singing frantically, breathlessly.

“Fire simply makes itself appear.” That’s what she told them when the village burned down unexpectedly.

from “Les Neiges d’antan” December 1, 2016 at Le Cagibi

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