Who pins the fall of a sari,
To the back of your sari blouse,
Or zips up your dress, when the zipper is at the back?
Cleaning up is a two-person job;
Who spots that line of ants going into the cereal box when you’ve missed it?
Who shuts the fridge door that you’ve accidentally left open,
Or takes on washing those dishes the next night,
Or brings you water when you’re sick?
Who steadies that glass you’ve just about knocked off the table
As it teeters dangerously on the edge?
You can’t – your hands are already full
There we go.
Now there’s broken glass to clean up, too.
Who gets those cobwebs right up there,
The ones you can’t reach?
When you’ve finished writing something,
Who do you show it to, that will make it better?
Who will spot the errors you’ve missed, suggest structural changes?
When you come across a sentence, a passage
Of the book you’re reading
That you badly want to read aloud to someone you love
Who do you read it to?
Who do you say, ‘Wait, listen to this’ to,
And look at, after you’re done,
Waiting for a reaction,
Watching their face,
While the words sink in?
Who’s watching you, while you’re watching them,
Making sure that you’re as good a human being as you can be,
Every day – when you take the garbage out,
When you take freshly washed clothes in,
When you reach up with the broom to snag a hair caught in dust,
Because they’re actually better than you?
To remind you – and you remember with a sigh of relief –
That you’re fine,
You’re just fine?