THE WRITING PAD: ‘Looking Glass’

I imagine an owl, sitting on a beam in the corner of the bakery’s roof as the sun sleepily rises. It watches a honey bee crawling on a periwinkle wild flower that grows between slabs of pavement, the seed having been dropped out of the pocket of a passing guerilla gardener earlier that spring.

A woman stands in the bakery, sleepily looking out through the glass, her faded apron tied tightly about her. She stirs carelessly as batter drips off the side of her pink mixing bowl onto the edge of her shiny red flats and the grey floor below. Behind her, rows of books with the occasional floury fingerprint and dogged edges, one missing which sits open nearby, its place marked with an old creased photo of an infant’s first day home from hospital.

She thinks for the thousandth time of the glass placed carelessly too close to the edge of the side table and the hot and hostile words which spilled out as it fell, like sharp red wine which had stood open and neglected on the shelf for too long.

She sets the bowl down and wipes the edge of her shiny red shoe, recalling the resolve with which she had then put on her shoes, which had seemed lighter to walk in and away. She smiles as she turns and presses down the edges of the photograph, feeling a deeply seeded sense of wisdom and a satisfaction that a growing daughter had been given new wings to dance on the wild flowers that still grow in spite of hard grey paving slabs.

THE WRITING PAD: ‘Looking Glass’

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