The Colonialist Daughter

She remembered the python that the cane cutters found in the fields with a man-sized lump in its scaled belly, and the python they played tag with before it bit her aunt and her grandfather hacked off its head with a machete. She remembered the babu who poisoned her rice and was then forced to eat it by her mother in front of the family at dinner and the cool marble floors. She remembered the heavy Javanese jungle at night when her father carried her on his shoulders with the poison gas settling to the ground beneath the sweltering air.