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Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 51, Number 3 (Summer 2005)

Nesaule, Agate
Randa's umbrella,   pp. 42-47


Page 42

GAINST THE WHITE SATIN LINING of the expensive oak coffin, 
Randa's skin looks yellow and rubbery. Her narrow lips are 
frozen in her customary self-righteous expression, and she 
clutches her plump hands as if guarding her rings. My father gave her the
gold wedding band a year and a half after my mother died, but Randa had to
exert herself a second time to gain pos- 
session of his Latvian "Namejs" ring of 
entwined bands and braids. It too is gold, 
rather than the traditional silver, and 
much heavier than customary for 
women. A bit of red yarn securing it 
shows near the blue bruises of IV's on the 
back of her hand, which the mortician 
has not been able to mask completely. 
Randa, seventy and a large woman, 
lisped to Papa, "Little Randina wants to 
see how your great big ring looks on her 
pretty little hand. She just wants to try it 
on. Oh no, little Randina doesn't want to 
give it back! She's going to cry if you 
illI    II I 
1"  /f  1 /' 1 1" 
42  SUMMER  2005  WISCONSIN  ACADEMY  REVIEW 
II 


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