Late afternoon shadows

October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Leaves on distant trees are turning – green, burgundy, orange.

She’s slipped away for a moment, to the hotel’s terrace, to look out across the gardens and to the line of high trees beyond, hoping to catch and hold onto something of the day aside from the ceremony and the people, the visible tears in her new husband’s eyes as he held her hand and made his vows. It was everything she’d wanted but now the day is here it’s all happening so fast and she is suddenly terrified that it will slide by without anything to hold on to.

She hopes that the people smoking at the other end of the terrace won’t approach her. She’s sure her mother is wondering where she’s got to, tutting at distant relatives that she was always wilful; to closer relatives she’ll drop the polite pretence and say ‘difficult’.

The woman shivers in her thin dress, causing the frail butterfly of lace to flutter across her bony shoulderblades, and meanwhile the afternoon continues to scatter itself across the lawn in lengthening shadows that might also measure the distance, for her,  from certainty to this moment happening here.


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