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Whose, Child?
by Hareendran Kallinkeel

Baby cries; a high-pitched yelp that pierces the night, the air conditioned chill of the bedroom.

The swell of father’s pot-belly rises and falls as if in tandem with the rhythmic cadence of his snores.

Mother jolts on their fluffy bed, throws off her blanket and shrugs away the lure of her mate’s warmth.

“Damn!” Father retrieves the blanket, wraps it around his nakedness. He coils back to sleep, knees tucked under the sagging flab of his belly, like a retreating snail.

Mother’s warm feet tread over the marble floor’s iciness, the way she negotiates the pitfalls of life.

She returns with a jug, splatters water on him. “Can’t you at least pick up the child?”