New Year’s Day was a birthday for my second born and a smorgasbord for the relatives. Pickled herring, cheeses and pressgurkin, gravlax, pate, pepparrot, Janssons frestelse, kuttbullar, sometimes lutefisk, bruna bonor, appelflask, oxrelader.
Akvavit poured in just the right amount. How we linked arms and shouted “skol”. I can still hear my mother-in-law’s voice, “That will warm the cockles of your heart.”
crispy sharp on old flowers
cold stabs in the mind
dVerse haibun prompt on New Year memory. Forgive my Swedish spelling.
When I was ten, I learned to swim. To hold my breath, submerge, and move underwater. Only the torso, legs and arms of other people were visible. No heads. I never timed these underwater adventures but swam about like some kind of fish. Eyes open but no gills; just my expanded lungs, increasing capacity to stay under longer and longer. I became an orca scouting its prey. My feet, the fluke, pounding surface with each new breath. My mouth spewing water into the sunshine.
When I got too haughty, my mother would say, “Who do you think you are? A Floradora girl?” I hardly knew the meaning of a Floradora girl but it was the tone of which she spoke it that made me pause my behavior. I knew she had a doll named Floradora. I didn’t know Floradora girls were also beautiful women who danced in a chorus line in the musical of the same name. Perhaps her mother had said the same to her when she displayed an air of arrogance.