Straw Dreams

Magic mirror what do you see in this picture? An empty stall, a vacant space, holographed resonances of memory—images of stock, live or heading toward dying, a place to keep, a place to hold something, someone?  It is not the farm  of my book world.  When I was a girl. I was coaxed into reading using the Dick and Jane primers. I got hooked.  The escape gave me a much-needed lift from my heavy life. Here, in my book world, I journeyed with my white nuclear family out of the city to see our grandparents who lived on a farm.  There were animals, cows, ducks, roosters, chickens, a dog, and a cat, some horses, and lots of hay. Hay was piled and stacked high in the loft of the barn.  The farm, a place of abundance and happiness, and the lives of my primer family became the world to which I aspired.
The grandmother at the farm baked pies, cookies, and treats for her grandchildren.  There was no hurt and pain in the children’s faces.  My grandmother did not bake cookies like the grey-haired grandmother on the farm.  She worked at the Post Office and drank scotch every day with her boyfriend, Arnet.  He slobbered when he talked, the drool sliding down his chin, went unchecked.  My grandmother drank until she passed out.  Sometimes, she was naked.


Koko Zauditu-Selassie
University Professor
Age 59
Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

One thought on “Straw Dreams

  1. This was so moving. I love the juxtaposition of the Dick and Jane primers to the gritty reality of your childhood and how the picture is neither your dream world or your reality. “Holographed resonances of memory” – beautiful line.

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