There is a country in my life. I have never lived there but it is with me.

When we got off the airplane, I pointed to the hills.

“That’s where she lives,”

“Who?” my mother asked

“Abuela,”

“She does. I can’t believe you remembered,”

Long winding roads through valleys, past mountains, take me to her town.

In the house, shutters closed and roof open, she waits for me at an iron door.

This is the house where my father grew up. Secret doors, down corridors. I have been here before.

Abuela tells me angels are watching out for me.

My great grandparents came across the sea.

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The parrot speaks Spanish to me when I help Abuela in the kitchen.

There is a country where I live. But sometimes, I remember. There is another country in my life. I close my eyes and see the departure gate. My godfather, my father’s best friend, waves to me one more time.

* First draft of a story I wrote for my daughter Elizabeth. I hope to publish it as a children’s picture book. 

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