Of money & hands
by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn



A peso drops on the floor. It once jingled in a pocket, exchanged for masa harina or thread. Father always laughed at the coin’s worth. Mother stretched her dollars at the naval base commissary. She might buy an onion or tomatoes at the civilian grocery store. She hemmed our hand-me-downs. Whose fingers do I see when I pick up a needle? Not quite the black coffee color of Father’s, and certainly not Mother’s ivory tone. In the adult time of her evening, her slender digits laid down queens, kings, aces in neat columns. I remember she picked up a pen, wine glass nearby. The ink slid across the page, secrets to Father, forever sailing away on the endless sea.






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