by Dena Popova

Well, thank you, that today, on your special day for Thanksgivings, you gave me to peel all those two hundred little golden onions to go with the turkey that your grandmother was cooking outside on the porch. These golden onions were a good excuse for me and I could cry easy without any questions why do I cry.

When I was ready, you told me that the recipe was to dip them one by one in the bowl with wine and brandy. And I got so drunk, after licking my fingers so many times, that when I was finished, I remembered how at the end of the summer, after finishing all the jars with pickles, my grandfather would always braid the dry tops of the onions. Then he would hang the big braid from the right corner of the window to chase the flies away.

I never learned how to do it very well or it was harder to braid with the tops of those baby onions, but I gave up. I didn't say anything when you threw away all the leftovers. I tried to help with cleaning up and went on the porch to pour the bowl in the flowers. I had heard that wine is healthy for plants. When I went out, your grandmother just finishing the turkey,stopped me and said that the flowers didn't need it because they were fake and we had to finish the wine and brandy together. After that we made a bouquet with those fake yellow flowers and put it on the table.

For diner it was three of us with braided hair. It was me, then your little cousin that I first thought was a girl, and your grandmother that was still carrying the smell of smoked turkey with her. At the end, she made a toast,

“To all my guests with braids. Cheers.”

“Cheers,” I said. And I took a picture with my free hand. That's why I'm not on this picture, but the glass of wine in the bottom right corner is mine, I swear.

Born in 1987 in Sofia, Dena Popova just finished her second year at Whitman College, Washington with a major in Film Studies and minor in Spanish and Politics. Her texts have been published in several magazines. She won first place in the prose section in the National Literary Contest “Petya Dubarova” and participated in the Teenage Literature Project “Liternaiset” organised by the British Council in 2005. Dena is part of the selection staff of Quarterlife magazine in Whitman College and is part of the poetry staff of Blue Moon annual literary magazine.


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