POSTED BY SID
from home with love…
There are three of us; it hasn’t always been that way.
Us here, and the First over there; it hasn’t always been that way either.
But for now, between here and there, there will always be three of us…
unless, of course, there are to be four,
in which case there will still be three of us, and more.
But there was a time when there were only two.
We lived a little. We talked a little. We played a little. We worked a lot.
He never minded to make me work, and work hard.
But there was always a job that was the hardest–he would do that one.
Or maybe one that was the most dangerous—he did that one.
Sometimes there was a job that was the smelliest. I did that one, because I was small enough to fit into the hole. Who knew there was so much work to be done in such small places?
There was that rare moment,
when I did something no one else could,
because my right arm was just the right size,
and I had the dexterity, and focus,
that I could reach down the bottom of the bowl,
and back up the trap,
over the hump,
and pull the comb out of the toilet.
No greater pride… my right arm wet all the way to the top of the shoulder.
Later on, I walked behind him going up stairs,
and in front of him going down—
his steps were no longer sure; I was strong enough to catch.
I would push open doors… not that he couldn’t,
but it was the harder job; I did it.
I took the steeper hill,
the rougher path,
the longer walk,
because I could.
Between the earlier and the later,
there was the middle,
when you might find us arguing over the hardest job.
“Only one shovel, I got it first. You’ll have to supervise.”
“I’ll climb up there and get it.”
“Too late, I’m already up here.”
These competitions came late in life—we were both grown, of course.
Imagine my torment,
when you traveled a harder path,
that I couldn’t walk for you.
This came too soon.
When you look down from your steep climb,
do I look out of place and confused,
walking on this flat, smooth ground?
Can you tell that I am searching?
Where is the door to push?
There is no shovel to race to.
I have nothing to climb, that I might save you the trouble.
You, my son, have exposed my greatest struggle with aging.
It is not my left knee, though it hurts.
It is not that I don’t remember enough to keep up with you in this new algebra they’re doing,
It is not that I am tired, even though I am, at times.
My greatest struggle is watching you work this hard,
while I stand here, my right arm still strong,
but completely dry.
You don’t need a comb anyway.