Mangoes

I remember holding his hand as he led our family in prayer when his father died.

The strength of his faith coursed through his firm grip, but I saw he had tears in his eyes and his voice plummeted to gravel now and then. One or two adults among us shifted awkwardly, for their faith was not as strong, but they persisted in the ritual. For all were joined by sadness and family ties as we held our similar-looking hands together.

The catapult of years is swift and now he, my uncle who loved his Lord — for that’s what he said years later — is dead.

All I can think of, apart from the warmth of spirit in his hands, was that he told us kids that there was an insect inside a mango pip, and we should try to get it out. I don’t know if that’s true. In the forty-six years since, I have never been able to open a mango pip.

©2019 Allison Wright
[161 words – 12 minutes total]

Care work

It’s four and half years now I find myself watching the slow and steady decline of my mother. My days are structured by her ingestion and digestion, and the proper preparation of her medication. In between I find some time to work, to read books to enter a universe not ruled by approaching death. Which according to Camus is not feasible as we are all condemned to death. Sure, he’s right and what I’m doing makes no sense at all, still I’m doing it – la femme révoltée.