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A constant | Opinion | Anna Munoz

Hasier Larretxea wonders in ‘Another sky’ (ESPASAesPOESÍA, 2022) if oblivion has a sound.

I came to this month’s column to answer what the memory sounds like. Grandma Carmen turns 101 and is the oldest woman I know, although that, in her family, happens almost by tradition. Carmen suffered the war and an exile in Bordeaux, but managed to return to the town and run an inn for decades where they stayed from civil guards to teachers, and even homeless people to whom she offered shelter claiming that their beards reminded her of Rafa, the oldest of four children. As she has been going deaf, Grandma Carmen doesn’t know what the memory sounds like, that rumor that you have to look for in smallness; however, in her house the memory sounds like the card game that she unfolds every afternoon sitting at the stretcher table in the dining room, in front of an empty chair: Rafael’s chair, which is what her husband was also called. Carmen shuffles slowly, as if there was nothing more important in the world. She then cuts, deals, uncovers the trump suit and begins drawing cards from the center deck. Once, we came to visit her just interrupting her departure. I think she was a little embarrassed to be discovered in the midst of that gesture of love, of constant love, as Quevedo would write, beyond death. But Grandma Carmen immediately removed that nervous giggle from her face and told us, very seriously: “My children, what you see is what comes out and I’m winning. Don’t go thinking I’m cheating.”

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