Saturday, October 20, 2007

Child’s Play

How about drawing? We could go and see the sheep? Riding your bike around the farmyard? I pick up some red and green juggling balls that have been gathering dust on the windowsill and manage a dozen or so throws before one thuds to the wooden floor. His face lights up. He drags over an empty cardboard box, stands in it, and asks me to throw the balls at him. To see if I can hit his nose.

three now
he thinks I should wear
the blue skirt, not jeans

Stylus October 2007
after her death
watching the rain
meeting the river

Shamrock Autumn 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fish-girl

‘Julia was staying with her grandmother in Antibes and could hear the sea through her open bedroom window,’ I begin as we head towards the seafront, her hand small and warm inside mine. ‘So even though it was a windy evening, she decided to go for a walk.’ We pass brightly lit caf├ęs; take a shortcut to the ramparts through a small park of palm trees, the sea so close now I can feel the spray on my face. ‘At the old town walls, she stopped to watch the surf crashing against the rocks below and that’s when she saw...’

‘I know, let me!’ my granddaughter interrupts, and the story is hers now: mermaids and black rocks, a girl dragged under the wild frothing sea. ‘Your turn,’ she says as we take a cobbled street into the town, away from the sea-wind.

I could let the girl drown, the mermaid’s cold arms wrapped around her tight as weed, her breath racing away to the surface of the sea, and pass back this story of danger and treachery. But not yet. She can breathe under water, will wake up the next morning with a necklace of pink seashells, proof that the unbelievable sometimes happens.

full moon
surprised by seagulls
flying between stars

French Literary Review Autumn 2007