The Sick Child
by Shazia Ali

Turmeric and milk, that beastly combination
Filled to the brim in a glass cup and warmed
Brought to the sick bed of that temperamental
Child who pushes it away, frowns and pouts.
A tiny sip, cajoled and held in soft arms,
With a fragrance of jasmine and a hint of musk,
Snuggling into the covers of a loved bed
Tossing in the middle of the night as a soothing
Vicks balm is warmly rubbed with silky hands
On the infinitesimal chest and an ethereal back.
Memories of those cough-ridden, fever-stricken
Nights fade into the smoky past of childhood
Until a whiff of that Vicks balm or the taste
Of turmeric with milk brings back the memory
Of soft arms, and jasmine with a hint of musk.

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.