“Wipe my mouth, please,”
asks the frail old man with a crooked, snaggle-toothed grin.
Responding; the adoring sprite smilingly grants his simple boon.
With arms too weak to embrace his child his deep-set eyes engulf her in grateful warmth.
“Wipe my mouth;”
his further loss of strength and increase in pain makes his demand curt, cutting deeply into her soul.
The young nymph feels the stinging rebuke in his command but concedes to his demand:
The day has been long, making his old tongue short.
The exhausted sprite reels in shock from the stinging slap of his command:
The life-giver, the father, her alpha, now wrapped in impotence, wracked with pain, writhing from uncertainty delivers searing stripes to his faithful daughter.
With heavy heart his mouth is wiped with the gentle caress of ephemeral butterfly kisses.
Is all he croaks, yet with this single word volumes of displeasure, disappointment, and dissatisfaction are delivered.
The muse full-fills her task and more as she bathes, caresses, soothes and protects his failing flesh.
No command leaves his gaping maw as his breath in ragged, laborious exhalations sustains his once strong form.
His arms lie slack, his swollen, pain racked legs are pillowed in protective covers from the cold.
His daughter seeing spittle on his lip hears his tender request for help.
With a soul overflowing with love she tenderly wipes his mouth and holds his warm yet unresponsive hand.
His loving, sincere thank you echoes in her mind as she feels his strong, supportive arms about her.
“You’re welcome, Daddy,” she whispers in his ear. “I love you, too.”