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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014

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Jayashree Maniyil
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


A Dull Headache

I have been putting off this appointment for nearly a year. Every reminder notice that comes is discarded into the bin. Until finally one day, I decide to visit. My husband drives me to the clinic.

As I sit on a cold steel chair awaiting my turn for a pap-smear, I overhear a conversation between a pregnant lady and her mother. She tells her mom that she hasn't been sleeping well lately. Besides waking up in the middle of the night, craving for a vegemite sandwich, the baby has now begun delivering little kicks all night. She then talks about their plan for the baby's nursery; and how she and her partner have planned to do some shopping over the coming weekend.

My thoughts drift away from the clinic—into the distant traffic and beyond. I wonder whether I'm wired differently than other women.

We leave the clinic after the appointment, and drive home in silence.

a crushed rose . . .
I smell the petals
one by one

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