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Broken Vision

Writing by Harry Clough. Illustration by Antonia Popescu.

‘I’m sorry, what’s your name?’

Hunched like a hedgerow oak she sits

In a voluminous chair, remembering

A hazy piano playing a soft waltz

In the village hall where–

‘It’s me, mum. It’s Tabitha, remember?

I said I’d visit today.’

She watches him walk over, young but smart-suited

And nervously offer her his hand, a dance?

An upbeat bebop flickers between bridges, heads, solos

And the final, distorting, crashing-

A tray of food is placed quietly on the table.

‘Mum, your lunch is ready now, you should eat-’

Confetti flies like startled game birds into the sky,

He takes her hand in his, her life in his.

Looking into his face, a joyous smile…

It turns black, blank, expressionless, cold.

She can’t make out his face, who is–

‘You’ve got to eat Mum. They say you’re

Not eating enough. I–’

‘What a nice name, I have a daughter called Tabitha.’

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