This daily touching, so foreign while I was growing up with her, has become a ritual now: brushing her hair, powdering her skin, washing and drying, dressing, undressing . . .she has become like a two year old clumsy with the details of the body, clumsy with the mundane that fills up the hours before sleep, after waking. This touching, too, has become a symbol of our need--mine to give care with patience, hers to receive without regret. I give to her so that she may give in return--a bit of peace charging the day, like the sound a bell makes in a porcelain cup. Her eyes are red today, as if swollen from lack of sleep, yet she sleeps on and off most of the day. After supper her eyelids fall into themselves, forgotten sentinels, missing the change of guard.
my aunt calling me her sister's name clouds in the water
in contemporary haibun 6