She put a finger in a foxglove and wished for a boy, and nine months later he was born.

Love. It is all about love. Today we have been two years married for the second time. A lifetime of getting to know each other all over again. Have we ever not known each other? The past gets lost in the presence. Which is mine? Which is his? He gives me such safety. As I do him. Kindness, love, gentle knowing. But sometimes, just sometimes, I yearn for my red shoes.

We act to transcend our ordinary lives, said the actor. Yes. We create to reach beyond what we already know, to step outside of ourselves. To make ourselves bigger, visible. Alive.

A woman shouting at the sea, ‘Give them back to me!’ And it did. But another four are lost.

I carry a red button in my pocket. I carry her with me. My child. My other self. She has to run to keep up with my stride. ‘Stop striding,’ she used to say, ‘it’s unladylike.’ But I have so far to go, I wanted to say, too far. Sometimes. Not there, yet.

The promenade has a line of red ribbons. Bring back our girls. Red ribbons. I remember the pink ones. A public expression of solidarity. Reaching out to those we cannot help. Show us what to do. What can we do? Keep your fingers crossed. Pray. She believes he is watching over her. Both of them are. Are they not? Better parents now, more mindful. Perhaps. Fairy tales. Telling fairy tales. Believing in something like joy, something like good, something like love.

I keep my fingers crossed for the two hundred, the four and the one, wanting to find her ‘home’, her place, her rightness. Let it be. Father. Our father who art in heaven………..


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.