My Watch with Arabic Numarals

Wahid
Wahid + Wahid = Itneyn
Wahid + Itneyn =Talaatah
Itneyn + Itneyn =Artha
Itneyn + Talaatah = Khamsa

Talaatah + Talaatah = Sitta
Talaatah + Artha = Setra
Khamsa + Talatah = Tamanya
Sitta + Talaata = Tissah
Khamsa + Khamsa = Ashara

Wahid + Ashara = Hedasher
Itneyn + Ashara = Itnasher

Given
to me
many years ago
by my Uncle Floyd
to use as a guide
to find a French lady in
Cairo: She was our grandmother’s friend, who
on her way to the market invariably stopped under
Gia Gia’s window to chat with her on
Rue Falaki. I found her living above
a tailor’s store, introduced myself.
She hugged me as if
we were related. We
spoke, using three
languages to
communicate.

She
showed me
Gia Gia’s house,
a movie theater and
café that our
dating parents
frequented.

We
stood on
the corner across
from the house for
some time. I could almost
see Mom there in her former life,
as a child, playing with her
sister, leaving the house, returning,
bustling as young people do
while Gia Gia chattered
to the French lady,
gossiping about their
friends and
news.

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2 Responses to “My Watch with Arabic Numarals”

  1. Andy Says:

    Na…
    Na uh…
    Na uh uh!

  2. lunchontuesday Says:

    where
    was this
    all these years?
    why did i never
    come across it when i
    was growing up? i’m sure
    that i had antennae
    especially for exotic
    things with
    stories….

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