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Tradition & Me
Angela Dela Cruz

If you were to pick up any form of tradition

and examine it closely,

you’d see fragments

of the past,

the present,

and the future.

 

It’s about who we are now,

as much as it is about

who we once were,

or who we want to become.

A line linking

past generations

to future generations.

I went vegan for awhile

but my lola [grandma]

never quite understood.

She didn’t have the privilege of deciding

what she would and wouldn’t eat —

to eat based on concepts of

morals and ethics.

She would make me arroz caldo.

A warm rich bowl of rice porridge,

sticky and gluggy,

infused with chunks of garlic and ginger.

A warm bowl of soupy rice.

Lola’s trembling hands,

ladling spoons of

salt and fish sauce in.

I would fish out the aromatics,

then I fished out the chunks of meat,

desperate to still share this bowl with her.

A taste of home,

of my childhood,

my parents’ childhood,

my lola’s childhood.

A single line

from the past

all the way to now.

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