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“an unscheduled stop”

A to Z

I look up from the pavement and find myself at Midhope Street. An unscheduled stop but as good a point as any to take stock. The shutters are down at the Cromer Cafe — no Freshly Cut Sandwiches today. The Musica Nova Academy doesn’t sing to me. Balconies, blossom, propped-up motorbikes, a man unloads a van under the No Through sign. If we have to see ourselves in a storyline with an arc from meeting to parting (I see lobbed grenade rather than rainbow) where are we on the curve, the rise and fall? I’ve lost my bearings. Consult the map. A sharp left is what I need, simple as that.

Kate White


Shall we walk on awhile? This is the road, we said. Long ago, we said this was the road. We haven’t seen flowers here for years, not the kind that each of us, rising early and running ahead, would plant by the wayside to blossom in time for the other to pass by. Yet sometimes we come upon ditch blooms and culvert daisies, the gutters of the world efflorescent, sown by breezes with no thought for our walking by, and for another year this will be enough, the two of us keeping to the way we chose, each day deciding, or not deciding otherwise, to carry on awhile.

Joshua Coben

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