Route 7 Review - Page 115

and kept shaking her head, “Mon Dieu, my god! What happened? How could this be mi ‘jita, my dear?” I took the piece of string she’d sent wrapped it around the waist; it was the correct size, but corset was way too big for my chic and stylish petite grandmother. Later that evening, Mamama suddenly began laughing uncontrollably. She composed herself. “Ay, mi ’jita,” she told me, “I measured my waist with the string over my favorite alpaca wool skirt and sweaters! One of the worst things about growing older is making silly mistakes. Will you forgive me?” “No worries,” I said, laughing. “I saved the sales receipt. When I return bones and stays, the store will either exchange it for a corset in your size or refund the money.” It grew late and I was dead tired. I put my arm around my grandmother and kissed her forehead. “Good night, my dear Mamama.” Today I am no longer filled with longing when I listen to that hauntingly beautiful Andean folk music. Instead, the haunting sounds of the cane flutes and harps filling the air are happy memories of times spent reading Mamama’s monthly letters and my travels back home to visit with my family. --- The End --- Katacha Díaz grew up in Miraflores, a suburb of Lima, Peru. She earned her BA and MPA from University of Washington. She was a research associate at the University of California, Davis. Among the many children’s books she has authored are Badger at Sandy Ridge Road for the Smithsonian Institution’s Backyard series, Carolina’s Gift: A Story of Peru and Wild Horse Country for Soundprints. Her writing has appeared in Coastlines, Gravel, Twisted Vine, Foliate Oak, Guideposts, and elsewhere. She lives in Astoria, Oregon, where she is at work on a short-story collection and memoir.