asters deep purple

and on his cue, i would start reciting to the amusement of my little audience:

asters deep purple,
a grasshopper’s call,
today it is summer,
tomorrow is fall.

(of course back then i pronounced the first line rather differently as i had no idea what the hell asters were: ‘steers de purple…’ which did not make much sense either, but that was just to get the rhyme started.)

he would then ask them whether they knew of anyone else who could recite the entire english alphabet -with their eyes closed?

and they would all drop their jaws in amazement, feign bewilderment, and reply in a resounding:

‘nay!’

and then he would turn to me and i would move in my seat, pull a hand over my straight hair which always seemed to block my sight, and close my eyes:

‘a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,kay,l,im,in,ow,pee,ku,r,s,t,yoo,v,doubleyou,x,y,andzaid’

and then pats on the shoulder and praises of afareen and mashallah would ensue.

i would stare down at the lines of the kilim, slightly embarassed, but mighty proud also. and i would hide from them the fact that to me it did not make the least difference whether my eyes were closed or open. but i was always convinced that it was a feat not everyone was capable of, otherwise my father would not make it the centerpiece of our duo’s performance in this or that mihmani and gathering of relatives.

and to this very day -18 june 2008- i did not know that these beautiful flowers were called asters, and that i recited the first ever piece of english poetry i had read, about them -when i was four, maybe five years old.

asters deep purple
beautiful photo of asters by pearceval

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~ by safrang on June 18, 2008.

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