Only Once

It was all you needed to subdue me.

Only once. Text by and picture of JkM

The daemonic headache took me
in the middle of the parking lot
of the suburban Chicago eatery.

Who was screaming in the van with me?

I heard the screams but did not know
they were emanating from my mouth.
Only seeing my children looking at me
so young so scared and so confused.

How did the cops know to come?

The sirens escorted us to the nearest
hospital, where they would offer no 
relief for pain until all tests were done.
You left me in the ER, taking with you 
your family and my kids and a book you had bought,

You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought”.

After three days alone in a city unknown, 
being pricked and prodded for a malady not showing 
in any tests that i would allow, but not the one that might
leave me with a stroke. I was too young to die.
Sounding impatient and inconvenienced as my 
husband and a doctor, your help was to offer this advice:

I’m at work, alone with visitors. You have to decide”.

Finally alone, having put away the dinner dishes
my first night home, having closed the doors on
little sleeping bodies in their beds, having no 
expectation of comfort, but this alone you said
“Stop acting crazy or I will have you committed
and you will never see these children again”.
Your very words. I stayed for twenty more years.

I was not yet thirty eight.

©JkMansi Juhi Kalra 2018. All rights reserved.