my name is ra.


These are the first tacos
after 438 days in jail.
She’s smiling,
focusing on food,
and freedom.
She’s ignoring the noise,
the flickering lights,
the customers in mismatched clothes,
the music,
the people on phones,
the cleaning supplies,
the smells,
the traffic outside,
the door without locks.

She’s smiling,
but every time she sees this picture,
she tries to see
the freedom.
but can only see
the chaos.



  1. In some ways Freedom is synonymous with Chaos to me. The lights, the smells, the visuals and the smiles, the chaos is freedom at its truest self and most beautiful. (I might think this though because I can’t color within the lines). Thank you for writing such a though provoking piece. โค

    Liked by 7 people

  2. A powerful piece and a reminder to us all. With the chaos that surrounds us, focus on the freedom. As we slog through two more days of this nasty election process….focus on the freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this piece. Can only imagine the chaos you faced after regimented days and returning to loss, grief, and unknowns. Although my life circumstances are far different, I, too, face chaos. I suppose many of us do, even those who seem to live an organized life. My husband is on a business trip Monday and Tuesday nights. I’ve already voted. Available for dinner either night?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. true what you say is. After more than a year in a strictly regimented environment…the “real” world is so very chaotic. I can just picture it..and even feel it…a little ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The other day on Facebook a friend pictured himself for Halloween in a ski-mask. I was stunned. I wanted to delete it but couldn’t help going back to his page to see it. It was familiar and frightening. I don’t expect to understand what it was like for you not to free in that way but I can relate to “every time you see the picture……” Logic and emotion don’t always walk hand-in-hand. Every time I see the picture attached I try to see “it’s over” but it wasn’t over. The confinement you lived through may never be “over” mentally in some weird way but it is and will be different. It might even be harder at first, now that you are “free” but it will get better. Now. Now will begin to get better. Perhaps slowly. You may never forget the “chaos” or “see the freedom” right away yet either. Hopefully you will come to terms with both. Don’t rush yourself. Give yourself time to heal. Five years later I saw a picture and I realized for me it still “lived”. When it was “over” it never really left, it was just the beginning of something new in life’s unpredictable journey…….

    You are strong and smart and beautiful. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RaRa,

    That looks like a hole-in-the-wall kind of joint, but it may just be the lighting. You have a wonderful way of staying in the moment amidst everything buzzing around you.

    Great smile….


    Liked by 2 people

  7. As you well know, I’m a bit food obsessed. Food being one of the few things that I understand. Food is my anchor, my teacher, it’s how I learn history and geography. Because of the French’s stubborn obsession and occupation of Vietnam, the delightful Bahn Mi on baguettes made from delicate rice flour were born. Tiki Masala thought of as Indian food, is actually the national dish of England, a side effect of their occupation of India. Food has become my measure of time and teacher of math. 1 hr is how long I roast a tray of 1/2 chickens. 5 min is how long I grill each side after slathering with spicy BBQ sauce. Thick and red, like blood, a transfusion from a mini cotton dreaded mop. 2 minutes is how long it takes for the sauce to begin the infusion, the transformation from condiment to sizzling counterpart. 12 minutes is how long I cook a well done 1/2 lb burger, in four minute increments. Turn 90 degrees, twice and flip once. 600 degrees the grill is carefully maintained. 1 minute until any arm hair left is singed off and perspiration begins to run like rivers. It is hot. But you taught me that food can be so much more, food can be freedom. That’s even hotter.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Pingback: sun – rarasaur


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