In Relative.

The day begins early – I am dreaming – descending almost into performing an action for a former boss – in panic, almost breaking open – when I hear a wail from the next room – that is my father – his pain is acting up this morning – along with a temperature – and I am slowly coming into this world from my mind – I open myself out of the embryonic fold that I had lodged into – and lie still for a moment – did I really hear my father – was he making that desperate prayer – thoughts more lucid came too – of anger, of having been ill-treated, the unreal expectations from responsibility – and I am struck in immobility – whereas I should be tending my father – but I don’t move for a while because movement has left me – I stir, moving my arms and legs, almost scanning for the remnants of life – but I am also thinking – how incredible the colour of the room appears this morning – a tint of redness following the corners and the ceiling – this is not real, I think – but it is – that is how the bedroom looks this morning – and fear, fear now rises – says perhaps death is visiting the house today – perhaps a portent, a sign, a warning – that melts together with another cry from my father – he is awake, alive – movement returns to my body too – and I raise myself – a pain sits in the left knee and a mild one begins in the head – I am drowsy having slept late – but I am up now fully and I move – my mother is up too and my father – sitting on my mother’s bed – their matrimonial bond there for that moment – and I go to my father – pain, he says, almost inaudible – so I sit by him and tend to him, massaging his legs and then arms – opening his fist to massage his fingers – and my hands fit his – small but not as they were once – they almost fit into his hands – and I am stunned – because I see that I am outgrowing – my own father – no longer the little child but a woman now tending – his legs too seem smaller – he has shrunk I say – but I know it is half-truth – I have grown too – but that is also half-truth – only together they can go – in severed halves, they don’t mean anything – I am a daughter only relative and he is a father so too – in relative –


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