Placed on an over-bed table, before him, along with a razor,
Shaving cream, brush, cologne and water;
Reclined on his bed’s head
He sat in his ward staring into a postcard sized mirror;
Just then a hand reached for the after shave,
And splashed it onto the other.
Smearing it on both the palms, soft and tender,
It cupped his face and soothed the burn after the shave.
His eyes were clouded with remorse
But his poker face looked unmoved;
Just a cringe and it could have let gone
The brimming tears off his soul’s windows.
The echo of a thunderous slap, replayed in his mind
And travelled from his left ear to the right.
Instantly, he turned away from his reflection,
Reminiscing a day of summer from the sepia past.
He thought of that day she had returned home late.
And how he was red by his neighbours’ tittle-tattle tales;
That’s when his face resembled a plugged in toaster
Smoking from the top and about to pop.
Without a question raised or an answer received,
He traded a slap and a miserable choice of words for her tears.
All this rumpus just between the gate and the door
Even before she could cross the threshold.
After that day they neither spoke nor glimpsed.
He only saw her through the spyglass’ eyes.
While she couldn’t give up the image of him she had.
Always and to time’s end her hero he was.
The wall’s paint faded and the calendars changed.
The distance between them also got farther by the years.
Finally, she left home as she found another shoulder for comfort.
Committed and content, she was now, with a soul mate and a toddler.
But today, she was back.
To repay, her good old doting father.
Wiping the past off the stained slate
She was here to make nice.
While he was bedridden at start;
She ensured he, once again, was on his feet
Serving him day and night
She gave him the love she sparely got.
This moment, in search of pardon,
He looked within the four walls of his ward.
The door creaked and slowly swung open
And his granddaughter entered with his son in law.
He lifted his hands and brought her close.
With drooling lips she blabbered in her own tongue.
Sputtered and kicked him pitilessly on his chest;
And he realized, that instant, he had been redeemed.
Just when his daughter patted his cloak
And took the dust of her daughter’s squeaky shoes.
He cupped her hand with both of his.
Taking them closer, he appealed for her forgiveness.
Now, these were some thoughts from his life’s lessons
Which he clearly reflected upon.
Firstly, he learnt that a daughter,
Someday, might return as your mother.
Secondly, the fruits of assumption,
Indeed, were tart than that of wrath he thought.
Now he felt he was a wise and learned man
Who graduated from being a father to a son.