Handfuls of rosehips and some new scratches are found in the field by the river. Formation geese make a fly-by, flanked by rankled pheasants.
Blackberries get picked on autopilot now, it's so natural to step and pluck.
Skin gets hot under a light coat, under a thick cloud blanket. Nettle stings edge the welly-tops, provoke no reaction.
Just down by the river, standing, the truth filters in: watching the water move around the fallen oak: it could be a film set, a fairy tale: it is not.
(Not so awake, walking back to the house; the writing desk; the obsessive notes; nor so asleep.)

One gets to work and launches in: follow the syllabus: do this kick, add this routine back-fist; perhaps not such a routine job; in the last class a baby rolls in, fast asleep in her pram.
'If she cries, I'll pick her up,' this nice Instructor says.
So for part of the lesson the tiny one burps on the Instructor's shoulder while her mother finishes a kicking drill.
'Sorry about that,' Mum says, fetching a cloth to mop up. 'She's been sick on you.'
The apology is superfluous: to hold something so precious is marvellous: life is full of mess, or absent.

This is not the baby- this is Emma and her teddy- both also present today :-) 


Geo. said…
Ah, good to see Oak Dragon again in Autumn repose. And "...flanked by rankled pheasants." joins an image directly to my neurons. I love your writing, Lisa.
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you good sir! Oak Dragon is looking rather lovely, I have an urge to squeeze one more river swim into the year...

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