A man and a child and a woman

February 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

They are perfectly framed in the window: an adult and a child walking across the top of a snow-covered field. What, an hour ago, was a white view bisected by the ungiving black of the wall, is now dark grey, the sky matching the land.

If they were to look down they might see a yellow square of light in the dark building at the bottom of the field; at that distance they’d be unlikely to spot the figure framed in that square. They’d be too busy thinking about how the snow is coming down heavier now, that they’d best be getting back before it gets dark. The snow creaking like floorboards underfoot, the man urging the child on with promises of treats for dinner – or perhaps the child stumbling through the snow that an hour ago seemed so inviting, the blank sheet on which the afternoon’s story could be written, but which is now too insistent. A sibling, say, who doesn’t know when to stop. A nagging doubt.

The woman in the kitchen might be thinking her own thoughts about the scene, about how patterns must begin in order to repeat themselves. She might think about her own father, wondering where he might be, or she might try to imagine that walk, that adult, that child, herself in that snowy field with the lights of home in sight.

Perhaps she would shrug these thoughts aside as one dismisses an ill-judged arm on one’s shoulder. She might wrap herself up in the evening, remind herself that the path’s still to be swept free of snow, that she’s some meat to set stewing.

If she glanced up again she’d see the figures at the window’s right hand side. A moment later they’ll be hidden from view.

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