Matilda Colarossi: Grasses/ Erbacce

parallel texts: words reflected


After immigrating to Canada, my father returned to Italy almost every summer for over twenty years.
The land where his family home rises is surrounded by trees; but mostly, it is infested with grasses, some so wild and thick it takes an axe to fell their short but hardy lives. My father’s whipper snipper would echo throughout the valley, announcing his arrival to the town. The few friends he still had there, the even fewer relatives, and once even a Google Maps van, would find him already at work.
Wearing his favourite light-green checked shirt, his white cap, and his grass-stained pants, he’d whip and snip and axe. A huge grass sickle was also a common tool, and it would swing forcefully in his brawny, although ageing, arms to the tune of a deafening drive to conquer nature.
That drive took hold of my pops, and it was the…

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