Even when my mom was eight and
told Oma she wanted to run away from home,
Oma said “okay” and helped her pack her suitcase
with snacks and photos and comic books.

Oma even waved from the front porch
and smiled as Mom and suitcase disappeared
into the front door left haply open
three houses away.

The door belonged to Oma’s friend,
who welcomed my wayfaring mother
with rye bread and rose hip marmalade.

Even my precocious mother had not noticed
earlier when Oma called ahead,
telling her friend to expect an ambitious
and somewhat aloof houseguest.

My mother’s family celebrates every Christmas with Hagebuttenmarmelade over rye bread, which we call Oma bread. We also drink our coffee with whipped cream. It’s yummy.

This piece appears in the Dualitea online litmag at USC.