The journey begins at the base of the spine. Beneath the cerise silk shawl, the sharp white shirt, the green camisole I find that there’s a place for me. The riches of her bones lie in wait, like a shoal of regimented fishes, each one connected to the next like a little punch of promise. We are camping in a garden, in the rain, sisters but not sisters, weaving together a tapestry of many coloured memories to lie beneath. I feed her tea and oranges; she gives me coffee and almond biscuits. This could be the Café Americain, I think, as my fingers paddle their way up her back. The air is thick with imagination. I swallow the gift of her kiss, and travel my hands on, up, round, until I reach the point at which her composure melts.
‘That dress you’re
wearing,’ she says. ‘It’s in the way. You should have taken it off
when you came flying down the stairs. I thought I could trust you to do
that. And the hat. You are seriously overdressed in that hat and that
There is a free spirit of enthusiasm in her
voice as she draws me into the arc of her arm like a baby newborn.
‘Have you come here for forgiveness,’ she murmurs, ‘or have you come to
raise the dead?’
Happiness bubbles in my heart. I know how to
help. I know the joyous things that we can do. I raise myself on one
elbow, touch my finger to her lips at journey’s end. ‘Meet me in the
morning,’ I say, ‘and you’ll find out…’
The copyright of this post belongs to Jill Glenn