Where Did the Hours Go?
Janet Jiahui Wu
A year goes by. There are bad days. Really bad days. Days when you wish you were dead. But at least outside your window, you can see the pigeons coo and dance on the roof. You can see the fronds of the canna lilies rub against the colorbond. You begin to pay attention to things like that. The texture of the pillow. The asymmetry of your daughter’s eyes. The exact location of the black and white patches on your dog. How many leaves grow on the crown on a strawberry. All these things are incredibly comforting.
You no longer focus only on your pain. You no longer ask the question: why me? You have become accepting and malleable. Even though you feel scattered like raindrops, you feel satisfied. You can even bring yourself to laugh at your own condition. In the bed, you do not turn or feel listless. You simply look forward to the moment when the pain eases, or when the pigeon does a funny split.
You say to yourself: “nothing lasts. This too will pass.” And then your husband brings in a basket full of hot roasted chestnuts. He sits down next to you, peels one, blows air on it three times, and pops it into your mouth.
Janet Jiahui Wu is a nonbinary Hong-Kongese-Chinese-Australian visual artist and writer of poetry and fiction. She has published in various literary magazines big and small. She currently lives in South Australia with two sassy fat cats, Puss (in boots) & Pablo (Neruda). She acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people and their elders past, present and future.