Liz Hall artist writer performer

more words




She swings her bag at the pigeons outside the station;

sends them scattering. Face turned to the sky, she laughs

at the flack flack of their wings as they fly up. I watch

my womanly child, ecstatic at the commotion she has caused.

Inside, I hold her shoulders; Listen to me, this is important,

you change at Bedford. She holds her tongue

between her teeth, head to one side like learning to read,

and nods as though she understands how the world

is supposed to work . She takes her ticket from me.

I straighten her coat like I am adjusting a life-jacket,

check the departure board for signs of storms,

and ease her through the crowd to the point

where we part. She delights at the sight of the train

and as she turns to me I hear the anticipation

in her goodbyes, feel the distraction

in her hug. She climbs up into the carriage,

sits, and we sign to each other through the window,

pull faces and giggle - nonsensical, loaded.

The shrill whistle pulls me back. The train shudders

and rolls out of the station, like a dice from a cup.

I walk away. Out into sunshine, through busy pigeons,

the flack flack of their wings as they fly up.