The Limp

by Areeba Husain

The strongest memory I have of yours is the limp.

I am sorry, there’s much to remember other than the limp, your quiet affectionate smile, the stories you told that were longer than the afternoons they were told in.

The longish pauses in your sentences, and the long naps you took sitting up, your grubby beard and your rough but warm hands.

Smaller shop Areeba Hussain 17.4.22Shop in Aligarh, still open for business, where the author
made frequent trips with her grandfather

But the first thing comes to my mind when I think of you is the limp, and then follows the memory of you holding my hand taking me to the bazaar. I’m sorry that your slow and short steps irked me.

If I could I would walk with you again, and I wouldn’t rush, I would not pull my hand and run to the store hurriedly.

I am sorry I never thought you’d be gone, that your stories would in fact come to an end, that one of those trips to the bazaar was the last one and that I wasn’t there when you left us forever.

Had I known which setting sun was taking the last story away with it, or on my way back from which store with you did I leave my entire childhood behind… had I known I might have remembered it all. If I could I would hug you the last time and would remember this one for life.

(Copyright: Areeba Husain, 2022)

Instagram: areeba_husain


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