She stood outside the heavy door
painted a washed down turquoise blue
the blue of the sea that she could hear on a quiet night
she had stood outside rattling the chain calling her brother.
Telephone rings through the dark room
deadened by sleep. The call she’d been waiting for:
her brother has been refusing medication since a week
she put her children to sleep, sat through the night for the call.
He is praying for my death
I am locking myself in, keeping prayers out
you there? his voice is thick over the phone
breathing heavy, slurring.
As a girl she had implored asking her 12 year old brother
what he saw, whom he spoke to through the dark nights
he banged his head on the book rack
as the monsters thrashed inside him.
She had left him there alone with his ghosts
wrapped in clouds of delusions and hallucinations
gripped by waves and waves of fear, anxiety.
Now he refuses to open the door for her.
(My mother’s brother was schizophrenic, he turned violent and often refused medication. I remember her going in the dead of the night to calm him and handle him. She was the only person he trusted. I often visualise her outside my grandfather’s house rattling the chain on the heavy blue door asking to be let in.)