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The Night We Ate Moussaka

By Aurora D. Bonner

I didn’t see it through her eyes until many years later, and when I did, I felt deceived, as if parts of my childhood were not mine at all, distorted by the fallibility of memory.

I must have been eight the night my mom cooked moussaka, but even now the smells of curry and tomato force me back. It sticks to me like a wool sweater, prickling my skin but shielding the cold.

My brothers and I stayed home with our mother in those days. We spent every moment together, where storytelling, gardening, rock collecting, and finger painting entertained us better than any television might have. With mountains for neighbors, we would walk the dirt roads and deer paths until our small legs tired, then we’d hang off of our mom like overripe tomatoes pulling their vines to the ground. Every day we walked. Walked through the dew that clung to our toes as they raked the clover of our front yard. Through the creek that trickled down the ravine behind our house, a mountain-made trail run by crayfish and salamanders. Through the snow at the base of the mountain where red foxes who flashed like fire into the crevices of rock and brush pranced when nobody was looking. We’d walk, the four of us, naturalists, every morning and afternoon, hand-in-hand exploring the northern Pennsylvania Wilds.



About the Author

Aurora D. Bonner is a writer and artist living in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her work draws from relationships with people and the environment. Her writing has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine and won first place in Creative Nonfiction at the 2016 Pennsylvania Writers Conference. She is currently working on her first memoir and is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Follow her at @aurora_bonner or aurorabonner.com.