I start, I wake, wet
With sweat as was my wont,
For two weeks now. Two faces,
Yellow in the candlelight, my father and my brother,
Look down on me and I read their eyes.
One says, “Come”.
I follow, as if mesmerised: the journey is not far but
Slow and silent (there is no need for words).
Candle flames cast shadows, stirring
My mind’s eye with scenes
Of days gone by. I see myself, a little boy
Running screaming from a snake,
Falling exhausted into comforting arms.
Wracked with fever, robbed of sleep,
In bed he lies, cool cloths and
Salves on brow and body placed,
Cared for, cuddled. …
The click of gate breaks into my thoughts
As we near our goal – a house
Dimly lit. We tread with weary feet, and in
The gloom I reach the bed and fall with a cry and
Touch the lifeless form I cannot now
Or ever call “Mother.”