The gift is Home

our family

Nothing says home like the food you know, the smells that trigger head movies and the comforting arms and hands that picked you up and helped you mix and stir and “help” cooking when you were a kid. They now welcome you back into the fold, embrace your grown-upness but still visualised as the child, as you will always be. Family time is noise in the kitchen, clattering dishes and chattering mouths – we women of many words create more warmth with our talking breath, better than the lukewarm sun does, trying to impress us through a shameless glass. The men, young and old – three generations of my blood, gather around the finger food that has been laid out to stop them from starving before the main meal…if you believe that, you will believe anything.

My father, the patriarch, his unwilling body fighting his sharp, determined mind – his sharp, determined mind that used to beat his body has put its hands up and retreated. His brain is stronger than anything else, bar maybe his heart. He peers over his heavily framed glasses all the better to see a watch face his grandson has handed him to look at. His 80 year old eyes squint and recognise, the information is swift and he says the battery is a blah blah…..his mind as sharp as a knife. His son-in-law hands him a glass of wine which he carefully holds, the glass is heavy and cumbersome to him, due to his muscular dystrophy. He already can’t lift the glass to his lips but our mother brings straws with them so that he doesn’t have to.

His grandson, Jay, is a loud kid and is learning to pull his head in, but does show signs of promise with his unresearched fury at certain injustices. Maybe the same way my father felt about all of those things 60 years or more ago. My father brought all of us up to question everything, accept nothing at face value and to take risk in a positive way. He had a strong sense of what was right and fair and he brought four crusaders into the world to carry on that legacy. Give a shit, the majority of the population won’t – so you just have to. It’s your duty as a human being with the gift of life on this earth…

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Do the Right Thing

do the right thing

I saw a man dragging a puppy

that didn’t want to go

And everyone else in the street didn’t want to know

“Don’t get involved!” said a nervous Mr Hay

And he crossed over the street

to walk the other way!

I saw a brother pinch his little sister

on her tiny arm

How could anyone want to do

another body harm?

“Don’t get involved!” said a spiteful Miss Melissa

She won’t play with me at school

and is meaner than her sister

I saw a man shout

and push a woman to the ground

She bowed her head and was crying

but you couldn’t hear a sound

“Don’t get involved!” said a crabby Mrs Mend

And I wondered for over a month

if that poor woman had a friend

But now I’m older and I know better

I want to pass this message on

If there’s a body in need

you must always take heed

Because nobody wants to go through it

alone

© Kait King, 2015