Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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butterflies on the dress. Mama buttons up my coat. I can’t

see the butterflies anymore.

Karlo is driving the car. Mama says it isn’t his. It belongs to

the state. I don’t know the state. I don’t know who the state

is. It has never been in our kitchen.

I’m sitting near Karlo. Mama is sitting behind me, I know.

She put on a gray dress and a scarf on her head. I’m wearing

the dress with butterflies. Karlo doesn’t say anything.

Neither does Mama. Now.

I’m looking at the floor. I’m pressing my coat onto the dress

so that the butterflies can’t fly off. I see bits of branches. I

see leaves. Dry leaves. On the ground.

Then I look through the window. I have my hands on the

glass. The road falls steeply down. I see houses running

past. People on the road running past. I see them and then I

don’t see them anymore. They’re behind me, I don’t know

where. Then I see other people, other houses. I’d stand on

tiptoe. But I can’t. I’d sing. I hear Mama. She’s singing now.

Just a little. Then she says: Don’t be scared, Ballerina. We

won’t fall… All the roads in Trieste are like this … We’re at

the top, they’re in Trieste …

Then Mama says quickly, Look, look there, can you see the

sea… Can you see it, Ballerina?