Little brother on his little Daisy
Duck stool at the kitchen’s corner
bench bopped happily to the
rhythms of Mum’s play list
resounding from her cell phone.
“Watching “Tainted Love” !”
he cheerily told Auntie Jo as
she passed through with a
heavily laden laundry basket.
“What !” called Mum from the
far bench, still slicing vegetables.
She wanted to listen to her play
list on her phone which showed
the video of each song playing.
Busy as she was she did not see
little brother watching videos
she thought unsuitable for a
lively three year old.
Quickly she lifted her phone to
its usual high cupboard shelf as
little brother still bopped along to
the beat on his Daisy Duck stool.
A mass of tight bright curls
crowned little brother’s head
just like his sister and father
in their very young days.
He hated having it brushed
would not keep still at the
hairdresser’s. Right from the day
of his very first haircut when
the hairdresser asked Mum to
stand at the shop window holding
little brother so he could watch
the cars go by. His head turned to
and fro as her pointed at each passing
car, talking excitedly as the
hairdresser snipped at passing curls.
The resulting haircut was adequate
but not one she was proud of.
Last week, two years later, little
brother went to the hairdresser,
sat still as she trimmed each curl.
This time the curls did not spring back
as she clipped, but stayed straight
just like his sister’s and father’s.
Mum is grieving.
Those curls are growing out.
Going …… going …… gone.
All weekend the nine year old cried,
for her good friend the riding teacher’s
daughter was flown by helicopter to
the big city hospital with serious injuries.
For nearly two years the nine year old
has been riding horses at weekly classes.
She fully understands the impact of
a horse falling, rolling on you when
you fall under it. She gets anxious
very quickly, fearful about broken
ribs, punctured lungs, fractured bones.
After school on Monday her mood
lifted although her riding lesson was
cancelled. The riding teacher rang
Mum to say her daughter was out
of intensive care, in a general ward.
Two girls talked to each other
on their mothers’ cell phones.
Both were happy again.
There is a hole in my leg.
Just above my ankle, though
it has been stitched up now.
Five years ago a tiny hole was
cut to remove a skin cancer from
my ankle, a nasty mini greebly
o the kind our blazing Antipodean
sun fosters over our southern ocean.
that tiny hole was stitched up
neatly, delicately, most ladylike.
Now that skin cancer has returned.
It was removed with a margin of
healthy flesh to make sure it
never returns. That very large
hole is now building a healthy
scar above my ankle – not ladylike,
large stitches, not delicate.
New flesh is glueing itself around
my ankle, the bones will not
stick out, It meets decency standards
if not ladylikeness standards.
Two packets of my favourite
shortbread biscuits sat in my
cupboard …… looking at me
every time I went there.
My blood sugar levels crept up
in spite of my dietary care.
I had allowed myself occasional
sweet treats at home but now
my medication was increased.
Time to reserve treats for occasional
meals away from home. Treats in
the cupboard just stare at me
when I open the cupboard door.
I plucked up my resolution and
both packs of biscuits, walked
along to the flat next door, held
the biscuits out to my neighbour.
“Would you eat these before I do ?”
She was happy to oblige . Her
grandchildren will certainly help
her, she likes these biscuits too.
I wonder …. will the children
leave any biscuits for her ?
Long distance travel was once
major in my life. Overseas
international airports with an
array of shops and services
provided everything you needed.
Flying around my own country
after a gap of some years I
expected to find all I needed
while in transit waiting for
my next plane. I needed to eat.
Fewer international flights passed
through here, domestic planes
ceased well before midnight. Little
call for food now, especially for a
diabetic: dried up looking sandwiches
little salad left, plenty of greasy
salty fast foods or slightly dry
but tasty Chinese food, with
edible steamed rice.
So I ate the Chinese food, and
did not check my blood sugar
level that night.
I do not want to fly in this
country again for a while.
My sister announced a celebratory
luncheon for her “significant” birthday.
I am seventy two, a little older
than her. Enough said.
We flew south to her distant home
city where days are shorter than
in our northern home, then
gathered at her favourite cafe
stretched through tiny old cottages
joined around a sunny courtyard.
In a separate room we did not
disrupt with our noisy uproar.
Delectable food from a wide ranging
selection was chosen, then a bottle
of wine to be shared among few.
Sixteen year old granddaughter
forbade her father to drink – he
was driving her home. “Only one
glass while I drive,” he said.
“No , said the granddaughter.
Her Dad had no wine.
Others who wanted wine drank it.
Then some of us had …… desert !
Even the family diabetic who is
so careful to eat healthy food.
Dietary rules can be cumbersome
on celebratory occasions.