Joanna Wang (Pakuranga College, Auckland)

Family bonding at 4am

My grandmother woke up at crazed 4am
looking for her moneybelt
waking the entire family.
And because she sleeps in the lounge,
and because she resents it,
her fury was more pronounced,
slamming the hallway door so hard that
I found a dent in the wall the next day.
Stomping her feet, angrily loud,
my grandmother searched for her 50 grand
up, and down the hallway. The bathroom. The toilet.
The laundry.
The kitchen. Cupboards.
Scrutinising every single tiny grain of space
for a bright red bulging belt she thinks I know nothing about.
Knock, knock, on my mother's door.
"I've lost the bloody thing."
A long time later, my mother got up,
(she would get hell for that slow response later)
and mother, and daughter,
navigated through the labyrinth of 25 walls in our house.

"It was under her bed."
I could hear my dad's laughter from next door.
He shouldn't have done that
now there are two things for the grandmother to cry over.
With the moneybelt tucked safely under her pillow,
my grandmother went back to bed,
while the entire family thought about the money and 4am.