Oral History

A Conversation with My Mother

That year, I asked only one question and spent a lot of time looking out my apartment’s kitchen window. The view was mostly a three-story ailanthus, its leaves orange and lavender at the end of the day. The phone rang. It was my mother. That year, I didn’t like talking to my mother, and I asked questions to avoid having to talk about myself. But really, I was only asking one question: Will I have a child? I was thirty-four. “Oh hi, oh hi honey,” my mother had said into the voicemail I very rarely . . .


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