when Benny was 1 and I was 7, I took him down to the park near our place on the lane named after Shakespeare
he’d been at the pool with Mum all morning, tucked behind the blue walls on Alexandra Parade, and his tuft of soft hair was still wet
he nestled into my arm as we walked along the cooking bitumen, and when I crooked my arm to let him in, he cooed like a bird would, if a bird was Benny
at the park I climbed us up the ladder of the slide and put his bum on the cool grey top of it
he giggled as I backed down the rungs one by one and as I walked away from him and the slide and the sand and the dog poo, I felt my heart get bigger slowly like a blowing up balloon
my heart kept getting bigger and bigger as I walked down the street towards the milk bar, and as I was paying for my lemonade icy-pole it burst
Benny was wailing when I got back
I told him I’d just gone to get us an icy pole and he didn’t have to be sad
he was choking on his tears but then the tears slowed to hiccups and then the hiccups slowed to snot and I told him he’d crawled into my heart like a funny little bug, and it was just as well you can’t spray bug-spray near your heart
word by Laura McPhee-Browne
“This painting is beautiful, and reminded me of familial love.
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