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By Robert Macklin

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I never would have picked him as my brother. When we went into my mother’s room she looked very beautiful. She had a blue crocheted bed jacket, the same colour as her eyes. She had put on her face and brushed her hair and put a dab of perfume behind her ears. But when I got up on the bed and gave her a hug she smelled milky. Then my father came in with the baby. ’ But I didn’t have the faintest idea what I thought of him. I didn’t even know his name. It was only after that night that they decided to call him Brian Arthur Macklin.

She called me dear. Luckily no one heard her. Actually, I did feel a bit weak at first but then my mother gave me a dose of Hypol each morning. It was white and it was made from fish. I think she got it from the Rawleighs man. THREE M y grandmother said I was saved by the power of prayer. I thought that was probably true. Miss Guyatt said prayer was the most powerful thing in the world. It could move mountains. It was a very nice idea that God had listened to my mother’s prayer and decided that I shouldn’t die of pneumonia just yet.

There wasn’t any answer to that. Cecily was full of things that stopped a conversation in its tracks. She had very short, dark hair and one time she invited me into her lav, which was just near the hole in the fence. She told me to pull up my pants leg to see my thing and she showed me hers. I was very surprised. I didn’t know what to think. Uncle Vic didn’t stay very long but he taught my mother to drive. My father had been teaching her in the little Austin 8 which could only just fit two people in the cabin.

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