The mountains disappeared overnight

A small bee busied herself on his skinny little coffee coloured arm. The only sound in the air was the gentle rocking of the age-old chair in which he sat on the front veranda. His grandma was lounging on the front step studying his steady gaze upon the bee. He was a beautiful child. His chocolate eyes and sweet face a reflection of his kind nature, which was unchanged despite the cruel treatment he so often endured. He….well he was special. And she loved him. Not even his mother, the child she bore, ever knew this big love. That waste of space, lazy child-beatin’ lass …hmmmphh!

She watched this beautiful child … Every moment or so, he twitched as the bee wrangled with the hairs on his arms, but he didn’t laugh. Oh no…no laughing here. This thinking was a serious matter. Hers was the voice was in his head. Hers whispered soothing words, made melodic hummings at bedtime, so sweet and sad as she cuddled him to sleep. Hers soundly boxed his ears with disapproval and chuckled with words of satisfaction when he chopped enough wood to keep them warm the whole night. Hers seeped deep into his bones, filling spaces where doubt resided, brewing confidence as strong as the coffee she liked to drink every morning on the front stoop. Her voice filled him. Her voice expanded his knowledge of a world where he could be safe, and large, and wonderful. He always called his whinings ‘mountains’, for sure that’s how they felt. In truth his mountains were not ‘nothing’. His bruises were so huge and black they made her cringe just to think how they got there. He whined only when his boyhood tumbles knocked against one. She would take his chin in her gnarled hand, find the listening spot in his eyes and say ” Even the mountains disappeared overnight when the great cup of love flooded over!”