Cockerel (7)

He is there in the background whenever I call her these days, crowing. Though it isn’t really crowing, more of a cawing, carolling sound. I understand why children are told it’s a cock-a-doodle noise but that isn’t it either. I can picture him in my mind’s eye with his head and throat extended to the sky calling out for all his might. I don’t think she hears him anymore. Apparently, he runs to greet her daughter’s car when she returns from work. The idea of their relationship (hers and her daughters that is)  warms me, though I can see that it might have it’s issues. They are so intertwined, so scared for each other. Scared of their separate fragilities. It reminds me of L. P. Hartley’s The Shrimp and the Anemone, though the protagonists were a brother and sister not a mother and daughter. In the end there is much love and that has to be a good thing, a warm thing. She’d broken her rib. Gosh, you are in the wars, I say. She is sanguine about it but admits to being in pain. She fell walking, luckily she wasn’t alone. She has to go, she’d got a doctor’s appointment.

The scent of a woman’s perfume hung in the air as I walked along South Marine Terrace. It was 3 am. A cluster of students were sitting on the beach warming themselves before a bonfire. They had some music on but it was low. The all stared at the sea.

I saw them twice during my walk. He was tall and thin with a long white beard. He had on heavy walking boots and strode ahead. He looked distracted, a little lost. Behind him trailed a youngish woman wrapped in a rug or blanket. She was waif-like thin.

Housework done for the moment, ironing later. And my admin. A beautiful morning shines through my studio window. Another cup of tea then work.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.