Inside a worn tattered box underneath my suitcase,
I discovered some of my writings from graduate school.
I read some of my short stories with a heavy heart --
Here is an excerpt from my short story Mirrors, 1995
"Milk chocolate skin and emerald eyes. What a bewitching combination. These green eyes: stolen emeralds are what I see when I look in the mirror. My heirloom, precious jewels given after violent rapes and beatings that were so much part of my family's past. My mother told me the story of her great-great-grandmother, Sasa.
Sasa was a beautiful and quiet slave from the continent where animals and men understood nature. Her master was enchanted by her charm, and he fathered all twelve of her children. A day after the birth of each child, his wife gave Sasa a whipping that left her bleeding for weeks. And, if the child had the master's green eyes, the beatings would last for days. The mistress left trees and branches on Sasa's arms, back, chest and legs. After the birth of the twelfth child, the mistress had become so angry at Sasa that she beat her until there was no more visible flesh. And the only road Sasa could travel was the one to heaven.
So much history in my eyes. I close them tight."