in real life

By | 15 September 2022

first thing in the morning she barrels in
daaaaad lets play frida kahlo fell off the bus
ok let me wake up a little
daaaaad get up
i get up
dilan lies on the couch
shes frida now
i pull a blanket over her
shes recuperating
sad face fluttering eyes
im making coffee shes
writhing in pain
yesterday i fell off the bus, she says, no today i fell off the
bus, i just fell off the bus
ooooooo, are you ok?
nooo, i need to rest we
hit the tram and i fell off the bus
my leg is broken
my back hurts
i was covered in gold
my sister helped me, christina
she helped me

i take frida milk and drawing materials
place them beside her bed
simulate a knock at the door
someones at the door, i call out
everyone can come to visit me, she says, but
they have to be quiet
and she falls asleep
i open the door, wave everyone in
hi everyone come through but please be quiet, dilan
i mean fridas
she fell off the bus
i sit the visitors down with careful gestures
frida writhes a bit more
frida sits up now
hiiiy, she strains
this morning i fell off the bus
it was very loud
it was very crazy
everyone was crying
but im getting better now
frida gets up slowly now
heroic, winces, hobbles, smiles
now shes walking freely its a miracle
ooohh she falls over
i pick her up and
carry her back to bed
weve been playing frida kahlo fell off the bus every morning
for two months
ever since we isolated
and she asked about the frida tableau on her wall
began to embody frida as recovery and resistance icon
we read the story over and over
polio at 6
one leg thinner than the other
fell off the bus at 18
long skirts
mirror above her bed
painting as recovery
chronic pain
blue house
i brought the tableau back from mexico, i say, i visited her house, you know
in real life? she asks
yeeeeah, ten years ago, the blue house
did you meet her dad?
no shes dead but i went into her house
is she in mexico heaven?
yeah she is
can i send her a drawing?
of course you can

we have stopped playing frida fell off the bus
now we play secret garden
sometimes frida is a special guest
colin is crying in bed
colin is rescued by mary
mary wheels colin to the garden
they garden
the garden comes to life
bright colours like fridas garden
colin starts to walk again
colin is healed
now we stop playing secret garden
now we play jethro and emmett
two brothers from child care
one is six the other is three
they are plumbers
and we fix pipes under the dinner table

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