Pinky

You’ve changed, where’s the pink ha-ha? Those words linger like a bad smell as we stew like sardines, too few people for a party. I’m wearing something black and too tight and it’s a stinger, your words slice me like the butter knife we use to chop up cake on the coffee-stained counter. Crumbs coat everything, stick to the bottom of plastic cups we’d both … Continue reading Pinky

The Day Before

My brother died on a Saturday. That morning we’d left him and my sister to mind the shop while Mutti took me on her errands. In the summer of 1939 she’d only just started working as a seamstress of sorts. Letting out waistbands, taking in waistbands, changing the neckline of a dress to make it look entirely new – odd jobs that were quick but required an experienced hand to get those neat, parallel stitches. It was all the fault of the church coffee ladies. Mutti had taken over the social club at the start of the year, and the minute those crow-eyed omas got their claws on her embroidered napkins, her fate was sealed. Continue reading “The Day Before”