Quinces by Ana Vidosavljevic

Quinces are all around the house, in the cupboard, on the bookshelf, on the night stand.

Their smell is enchanting and sweet.

That smell of autumn warms your heart and eyes.

I need you, Nana. I need you to make me a quince pie and quince compote and quince jam.

I need you tell me the stories while you are doing that, those from your childhood

And simple days in the village.

I need you to make a break in between, and braid my hair while I sit on the floor.

The smell of quinces and your stories would bring me to some other worlds, some other times,

And I would see the new landscapes unveil in front of me.

And your gentle fingers running through my hair would wake up all my senses.

I am hungry, hungry for all those quince delicacies and your stories.

I need to write them down.

They still live in me, and I am retelling them

to whoever wants to hear them, borrowing your voice

and your gestures, remaking your smile and laughter,

and hoping I manage to imitate you at least a bit.

A copy will never be as good as an original, but I am doing my best.

Ana Vidosavljevic is from Serbia, currently living in Indonesia. She is a teacher, international relations specialist, writer, translator, interpreter, surfer and mother. Her collection of short stories Mermaids was published by Adelaide Books in September, 2019, and a memoir Flower Thieves will be published by the same publishing house in April, 2020.