This is what we did

This is the past that I created, the one I still think may be real:

We lived in a poor, jubilant village, crowded with colors and chickens and goats and children, and we all vied for attention and affection. There were loud voices from our fathers, who sweat through old lime T-shirts and black-market Wranglers. They worked meager jobs, and were paid with dirt and flour, black beans and strong coffee. And there were the lyrical demands of our mothers, who swept and sighed and shouted and cooked, and we adored them above all others. We did not know they were unequal, because nobody told us. When did this happen?

I do not know who decided that one was better than the other. Who reasoned that the men who worked the hardest were the least, and the women who raised their heads and their children were even less? This news did not come from us.

I would have been happy to strain my arms in a work field next to my father, or sweep the floors of a hundred houses if it helped my mother. That was who we were, this is what did.

I don’t know if my memory is real, or if this is something I read in a book.

We lived in a place of zesty skies and lime shadows. I think this is a real thing, but I don’t remember.

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Author: Steven Baird

Writer, amateur photographer, ad compositor and chicken herder.

12 thoughts on “This is what we did”

  1. Love this, Steven. Some undercurrents of cultural commentary and questioning of the givens. “Who reasoned that the men who worked the hardest were the least, and the women who raised their heads and their children were even less?” Little has changed.

    Liked by 1 person

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