Thursday, 20 June 2013


Remembrance cuts through him, sharp as a lemon in the mouth. He is missing many things: several buttons, and the bodkin with which to stitch them on, his parrot, half his false teeth; indeed, as a castrato, he is also missing something else more personally significant – but he is no longer missing his memory. He is Stephen, restored to himself at last. His hand closes over the little angel talisman in his pocket, and he lifts up his voice in a rollercoaster of relief. No sooner has he hit the highest note than he loses himself again. A parrot, vivid as a lime leaf in the sun, darts out from underneath the foliage. A lurking cat appears with a dozen eggs in a basket and a pocketful of change. The jester happens by in a pair of knitted jodhpurs with a shaving brush behind his ear. The table is not set; he cannot find his right shoes. He is no longer Stephen, there is no angel, there is no remembrance. He has taken out the picture from his own photo-frame; he is empty of himself. He begins to cry.

The copyright of this post belongs to Jill Glenn

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