I watch their faces and wonder at their stories. Vietnamese. I guess I should have connected this with the war before now, but I didn’t.

They are tiny. Most. One shows me pictures of beautiful grandchildren. She holds her head high like I do. They all sound like sparrows; cadence like the sea. We must seem so loud and ridiculous to them. The others complain about the fish dishes, and the smell of that in the microwave. I have to say I agree. I try to breathe through my mouth. Fish. Chopsticks in the drying rack. But. The delicious smell of a Vietnamese roll in the American toaster oven. I ask them about it. “Not American,” they say.

Not everyone likes sparrows, but it comforts me that my country took them in. They stuck close together like a flock. Do they ever feel like, them against the world?