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   She comes into view. She is wearing a dark blue smock dress. There’s a bump, not big, but noticeable.    ‘Janice took a turn just before,’ he says. ‘We was sitting and doing the breathing the doctor had told her to do and then she said you hadn’t moved.’    They both bend down to my eye level, and she strokes her stomach.    ‘You alright?’ she asks.    ‘Yes, thank you,’ I say. ‘Very kind of you to ask. Both of you.’    I watch them through the window and imagine this must be how a child perceives adults. It makes me feel small and alone.    She cocks her head. There’s a redness that rises briefly about her throat and then dissipates.    She turns to leave but then stops and asks, ‘Where are you going?’    I glance to the passenger seat, at my messenger bag slumped there containing a book of Wordsworth poems and the plane tickets. ‘Canada,’ I say. ‘Niagara Falls.’    She looks at her husband. ‘We’ve always wanted to go there.’    I smile, and they return to their car.    I don’t remember much of the flight or the transfer to the hotel in Toronto. I don’t remember the row where I parked the car, and haven’t written it down.    I’m up early the next day for the trip, sleep having visited me only intermittently during the night. It’s not long before I’m wearing the blue poncho again and I’m standing alone at the back of the Maid of the Mist boat as everyone else gathers at the front. There’s the roar of the water, but it doesn’t seem as loud this time. As we reach the bottom of the Falls, I retrieve the letter I’d written to Ali from my bag and run my fingers over her name on the envelope. I hold it between my fingers for what seems an age, my hands over the railings, before I finally let go and watch it flutter in the breeze, and drop silently into the bright and churning water.

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LIJLA Vol.2, No.1 February 2014

Profile for Sacred Heart College

LIJLA Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2014  

Short Fiction/Poetry/Visual Arts/Tanka by James Wall, Shanta Acharya, Billy O'Callaghan, Henry Stindt, George Szirtes, Kala Ramesh, Catheri...

LIJLA Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2014  

Short Fiction/Poetry/Visual Arts/Tanka by James Wall, Shanta Acharya, Billy O'Callaghan, Henry Stindt, George Szirtes, Kala Ramesh, Catheri...

Profile for lijla
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