They said that the god was coming to visit. The bustling began at dawn. We set out the best tablecloth, the most exquisite eggs in syrup, the little plates filled with ripe olives and pearls. All morning we watched the air and the sky, the trees, the lone clouds. Someone knocked on the door, but we did not answer; we just wanted to be alone and pray.
But, at noon, he arrived--we didn't know from where. There he stood with his long braids, his woolen cloak, his colossal wooden staff. We dropped to our knees, praying and crying; we served him the finest food, the fantasy rooster, everything adorned with big sprinkles. He ate his lunch, drank, and explored the house; he declared that he wanted to take something with him, since he was never going to return. He examined the cupboards, the chandeliers, the little porcelain cups, the big clock at the foot of my grandmother's bed; he smelled the oak trees and basil; he searched the wardrobe, drawer by drawer; he looked into the album; he asked which one was Celia. We showed him my little sister.
He chose her.
Marosa di Giorgio, translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas
(Ugly Duckling, 2010)