The Word

by Zaffar Kunial

I couldn’t tell you now what possessed me
to shut summer out and stay in my room.
Or at least attempt to. In bed mostly.
It’s my dad, standing in the door frame
not entering – but pausing to shape advice
that keeps coming back. “Whatever is matter,

must enjoy the life.” He pronounced this twice.
And me, I heard wrongness in putting a the

before life. In two minds. Ashamed. Aware.
That I knew better, though was stuck inside
while the sun was out. That I’m native here.
In a halfway house. Like that sticking word.
That definite article, half right, half
wrong, still present between enjoy and life