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One by one he would take us into his arms, cradle us for a moment, rocking us: then from his god-like strength we were flung like memories into the unsure as we were hurled up then fell and splashed into the pool.

There was a safety and imagined danger in this game; he stood at the edge of the pool like a machine manufacturing joy as we ran into his arms like components into the assembly line – to be flung into absolute completion, again.


Fields blurred past the car’s windows, its speed tested to the limit, time and distance tampering with the road. Each bend we took – another stretch was invented, where time stalled beneath the wheels.

The rubber road stretched on, pieces of life sucked out the window to dissipate in the slipstream. What was a seven-minute drive was now a lifetime’s journey; the car turning off the highway, tearing through the small town – burning the streets for the clinic.


Nurses on the lawn, knitting, reading magazines, having lunch, dozing in the shade beneath trees. Uniforms white as purity – their poise, a poise of pure ease.

One so easily missed it in the panic; others sat with them – staring emptily at the earth, counting grains in the sand, propped up in the shade, fading on the trunks of the trees.

The car pulled in, doors flying open before the actual stop – a throw of panic in upheld arms – only body-language through loss of words. But no one came. Uniforms white as purity – their poise, a poise of pure ease.

No weight could question my strength – my hands locked over my father’s chest, his back on my stomach, his loose head, as we carried him into the clinic.


The air filled with sparkling flight, a whole field gently rising with wings. Rain had fallen, the horizon clear – the sun sinking with its red heavy light loaded with dreams. November and the first sense of real rain – flying ants taking to the air in fields where a team of tractors once worked from dawn till evening; now – hazel tufts of scattered grass and orange anthills make the landscape.


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