Baba, an American Woman, illustrated by Angelin Miller

Baba, an American woman

When my grandmother was dying
I asked her—I don’t remember
the question, the exact wording—
something like, what truths have you learned?
Very old people sat watching

game shows. Baba was pretty far
gone already, prone to private
spirals of thought. We sat in chairs
at a round table. Two sedate
nurses counted pills. A bell rang

from the TV: a contestant
rewarded for a good answer.
She said, “America, a light
among nations…” Then she warbled,
“Israel.” “Israel?” She turned

her head toward the picture window
filled with a seasonless color.


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