Upset Skies

photo courtesy of http://ethancrowley.com

“Do you know what we call this sky?” Mak asked, glancing up. Her hands clasped the steering wheel.

I peered through the windshield. Low lying storm clouds hovered above us, against a dark gray sky.

“During the Khmer Rouge, we called it, Maig Bee Bak Jet. Upset skies…”

“Why, Mak?” I turned towards the driver seat to look at my mom.

She bit her lip, paused for a moment. Then, her eyes began to water.

“Because during the Khmer Rouge, only when the sky looked like this- with dark clouds like it’s going to rain, that is the only time when I was free to cry.”

Her grief unleashed quiet, painful tears from the corner of her eyes.

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