Saturday, 5 November 2016

michelmas moment

the other

She is standing on the balcony in the industrial estate looking down at the Michaelmas daisies growing weed-like in the car park. She is shocked by the brightness of the blue against the drab grey concrete that surrounds them; she is 39 and she is smoking.

“I’m going to stop when I’m 40”, she explains, “I have given myself one more year.”

Later she will be asked if she is a mum.

“Sort of”, she will reply.

Then she will explain how her sister died 6 years ago and how her niece came to live with her in France.

“She is fluent now.”

“Is her father around?”

“She is handicapped, the father refused to accept her. I am her godmother.”

Life is brutal; we need the Michaelmas moments.

Further away, on the motorway, hundreds of people are rushing somewhere at speeds that will kill instantly if one person blinks at the wrong moment.

No one is blinking; they are staring straight ahead.

They do not see the Kestrel that sits on the telegraph wire watching them.

They do not notice the sky in their rear view mirrors where the setting sun is dancing with the October clouds.

It is not going to rain.

The river is low; it has not rained much for three or four months.

The swallows have not yet deserted us.

In the supermarket people are shopping for the weekend; there is a promotion on wine, it is that time of year.

The harvest is ready.

Already picked in most cases.

The forest is silent, waiting for the first leaves to fall.

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