Sometimes I wish I could ask so I could hear the story in her own words. I’m learning Spanish again so that I can ask, tho she will never answer (dead for 25 years). I never, ever felt remotely attractive until he said it: you look just like her. Who? Theresa! My mother (the most beautiful woman in the whole world) refused to claim me: Blood is not thicker than water, RD. You look nothing like me. Two separate instances that cling to one another in my mind. Slivers that affected the too-sensitive child, created undue separation at an early age. But they claimed me, stroked my face, pushed my hair back from my cheeks: You look just like her.

I look just like her, but I don’t know if I will ever understand it–what she did, how she did it. How she left, how she survived in this country, how she put her self aside for her husband and children, another blessed martyr (you pick: ironing board or cross). Did she come for love or for survival? (both) Did she stay for love or survival? (both) Maybe if I’m lucky some day I can ask these questions of her mother, if she hasn’t already passed away. They would apply to her life, too. oh the tiered and tired track of colonialism and patriarchy that leaves its lipstick traces on our humble lives!

My tongue has only questions.


One Response to “Theresa”

  1. […] ses. When I am 15 we visit Mexico for the first time that I can remember. Mi tio takes my face in his hands, he says, “you look just like her, just like Theresa.” […]

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