Like one of those Russian
dolls containing me-as-Phoebe’s-mum walking
past the daycare centre in
Albany circa 1993, even as I saw
myself as efficacious teacher
lady, coping with cantankerous
toddlerdom &
work/life schisms, I learn I am still
Alan’s daughter carried
inside from a well
aimed dartstab via
Facebook messaging where
one of dad’s friends from
1970s taxi-driving Hemel declares
his sadness,
loss at news of illness, ageing
and the existence of a
50-something daughter living
in Australia



Yes, I write back, it is
sad, but dad is not suffering, he
just cannot make the connecting door
between his room and our world
containing multitudes of us: wife, daughter,
son-in-law, granddaughters, layers of
potential identities sandwiching
veneers that disguise the
distance between him and
that figure recalled who
wrestled with Malcolm wearing
only his underpants


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