Excerpt from MOTHER TONGUE by Karen Stephen
By now the sky turned had deep purple and clouds rose like puffs of steam off a pot of boiling soup. Exiting the next tunnel, a rounded peak still dusted with snow in mid-summer loomed into view. I glanced at the map spread out on the passenger seat. It had to be Monte Rotondo. As I passed each road sign, my eyes lingered on the names of destinations written in both French and lingua corsa: Corte and Corti, Ajaccio and Ajacciu, Ile Rousse and Isula Rossa. A few kilometers farther, a graffiti-covered stone wall, spray painted with the words Cuncolta Nazionale, took me back to Fresnes, which, in turn, triggered disturbing visions of Benatar’s son clinging to his father’s leg as he was being dragged across the very lawn where he had kicked a soccer ball to his Dad the day before.