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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Alexander Jankiewicz
Hannoversch M√ľnden, Lower Saxony, Germany


Reminding Me

I'm on campus waiting to teach my next class, thinking about my lesson plan. I then notice a bicycle in front of me and see its red bell with white polka dots.

I remember begging for a new bike for Christmas and constantly complaining about how I hated the hand-me-downs that once belonged to my brother.

Christmas morning comes and my dream comes true: There it is with a big, red ribbon next to the tree. We continue unwrapping presents until I get to a small gift wrapped box. In it, there's a red bicycle bell with white polka dots. I blurt out how ugly it is and that it's a girl's bell. I tell my mother that I don't want it. I can still see how joy turned to sadness in her eyes.

I look at the bell in front of me now, wishing I could go back in time.

my mother's smile
in old Christmas photos—
the scent of pine

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