rrr

I must be two and a half

or maybe three years old

we’ve just returned from the beach

in Muizemberg

we’re climbing the stairs

to our guesthouse

I feel terribly hot,

the sun was blazing this afternoon

you’re just behind me,

then suddenly I see you fall

and slip down the stairs,

like a ragged doll,

but with a heavy thump,

the vision is frightening.

Mamica, Mamica,

I want to scream,

but nothing

comes out of my mouth

and I stare blankly

minutes pass like hours,

someone has heard the noise

then I see two pairs of naked legs

approaching us

they’re long, muscled and very tanned,

two men in kaki shorts lift Mamica

and bring her to our room.

I follow, sobbing

the landlady reassures me,

«your mommy will be all right,

we have called the doctor,

don’t worry, dear.»

That is the first time

I witness your suffering, Mamica

and what a shock it is to see you,

my pillar of strength,

my lovely-looking mother

unconscious, or dead?  I’m not sure

– what does dead mean, anyway? –

at the mercy of strangers

and me, me, your adoring son,

powerless, all alone, stiff like a statue,

but with a heart that hurts so much,

I still cannot utter a word.

«Just a sunstroke!» says the doctor,

«give her this,» he tells our landlady,

«she’ll recover soon, but

don’t let her go back

to the sea before a few days.»

Join the Chameleon

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, be in touch with the author and informed when the book is published.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This