The tradition is that everyone in the family has
to put their thumb prints on the dish when they
get to 21. Oils in the skin react with the metal
and alter it, so each of our histories is recorded
there. It’s like writing your signature.
If I plant my thumb on the tarnished side then
stare into the mirror-polished half – so the
tradition goes – I will see my great-granny and
granddad’s faces. And all the relatives who’ve
put their prints on the dish will appear behind
my reflection in the brass.
Wish me luck. Here goes.
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