SABAH CARRIM

In twenty-twenty, when I was a baby

terror struck home—Mummy

drowned me in hand sanitisers, and

wrapped me in antibacterial wipes

and held on to me really very tight

apparently there was a virus from China

so when aunty from abroad visited,

Mummy said I was prohibited

from playing with the gifts

eating the chocolates

and saying hello, welcome

(because she had come from the airport)

 

when daddy went to greet aunty

downstairs, Mummy ordered him to

carry tissues, and a whole packet of

wet wipes, so that after he air-kissed her

and said hello, welcome

he could walk away, and disinfect himself

then when aunty wanted to send

something else, Mummy asked our driver

to collect it from her, because—well, because

he was only a driver

in twenty-twenty, when I was a baby

and terror struck home, because

of an epidemic

I don’t know why Mummy didn’t stop daddy

(who went to work everyday)

from coming back home