All anyone can hope for is just a tiny bit of love, like a drop in a cup if you can get it, or a waterfall, a flood, if you can get that too.
All anyone can hope for is just a tiny bit of love, manman says, like a drop in a cup if you can get it, or a waterfall, a flood, if you can get that too.
I also know there are timeless waters, endless seas, and lots of people in this world whose names don't matter to anyone but themselves. I look up at the sky and I see you there.
If they come into a house and there is a son and a mother there, they hold a gun to their heads. They make the son sleeps with his mother. If it is a daughter and a father, they do the same thing.
. Manman tells papa, you cannot let them kill somebody just because you are afraid. Papa says, oh yes, you can let them kill somebody because you are afraid. They are the law. It is their right.
No, women like you don't write. They carve onion sculptures and potato statues. They sit in dark corners and braid their hair in new shapes and twists in order to control the stiffness, the unruliness, the rebelliousness.
On that day so long ago, in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-seven, in the Massacre River, my mother did fly. Weighted down by my body inside hers, she leaped from Dominican soil into the water, and out again on the Haitian side of the river. She glowed red when she came out, blood clinging to her skin, which at that moment looked as though it were in flames.
People are just too hopeful, and sometimes hope is the biggest weapon of all to use against us. People will believe anything.
Pretend that this is a time of miracles and we believe in them.
Sometimes hope is the biggest weapon of all to use against us (Danticat 19).
These were our bedtime stories. Tales that haunted our parents and made them laugh at the same time. We never understood them until we were fully grown and they became our sole inheritance.
The soldiers can come and do with us what they want. That makes papa feel weak, she says. He gets angry when he feels weak.
The women in your family have never lost touch with one another. Death is a path we take to meet on the other side.
They say a girl becomes a woman when she loses her mother. You, child, were born a woman.
They say behind mountains are more mountains.
This is why she wanted to make pictures, to have something to leave behind even after she was gone, something that showed what she had observed in a way that no one else had and no one else would after her.
We already have posterity," I said.
"We were babies and we grew old
"We were babies and we grew old
When you write, its like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light. Like the diverse women of your family. Those whose fables and metaphors, whose similes and soliloquies, whose diction and je ne sais quoi daily slip into your survival soup, by way of their fingers.
Why is it that when you lose something, it is always in the last place that you look for it? Because of course, once you remember, you always stop looking.
You learned in school that you have pencils and paper only because the trees gave themselves in unconditional sacrifice.
You thought that if you didn't tell the stories, the sky would fall on your head.