My little son is sick tonight,
Fever, headache, vomiting, chills,
Classic West African symptoms. . .
Golden honey fails to mask the bitter remedy
I coax down his parched throat.
I watch anxiously as
he tosses in restless sleep.
Suddenly he wakes, wild-eyed, hallucinating.

He seems so young,
Too young to suffer so.
His big brown eyes like dark pools
on his blanched face.
His berry-brown tan faded now.
Couldn’t I be sick for him?
How much easier
than to watch and wait.

A long night looms before us.
A long night without electricity,
without the cooling air of the fan.
Housebound by curfew, power cuts,
no telephone.
We are alone tonight, my sick son and I.
Alone with our remedies.
Alone with our God.

Thank you Lord for caring.
For this chance to trust You.
Thank you that it is just
You, my son and me . .
For nights like this
bring blossoms to my faith.


©2003 Thrive

View the original print magazine where this article was first published.