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Three Matching Plates

(by Michelle Cacho-Negrete)

My mother was a woman who never hugged or kissed my brother and me and never said, “I love you.” The words and physical manifestations seemed absent from her vocabulary. Perhaps her parents, who fled Czarist Russia to avoid the pograms against Jews and whom I never met due to their early deaths, never exhibited affection. Perhaps her husband, also an immigrant, and long vanished, didn’t exhibit affection either. It seems likely she was never told I love you. My mother’s love could only be surmised. We surmised it.