Farmer’s Girl

Scan of love text tapestry (2)

Only a few stragglers left. A mere scattering this morning, some on the beach, some in the shelter. Lip Lickin’ Chicken was open. And a gaggle of seagulls were fighting and worrying over a discarded carton spotted with grease. Pier Pressure was also open. A girl and two boys were sitting on the shelf of the Prom, there legs hanging over the ledge, their bodies leaning into the railings. The girl was crying, one of the boys was trying to comfort her. She cried noisily. A young gull screeched insistently for its parent. Momentarily lost, abandoned, like a seven-year-old Japanese boy. Punished. To be punished. I told you so. A warning, rarely seen through, this time it was. He seems none the worse. A thumbs up in a picture in the paper.

Last week was busier. Just after exams. Lots of singing. Kids in the sea. Skinny-dipping. Let it go, a group of them were singing, just by the clock tower, let it go. All together, reaching a crescendo that reverberated all the way down Great Darkgate Street. The theme song from Frozen, I think. I am not up to date. Separate.

The weather has been glorious. The man across the way mowed his lawn twice. They grow brown that family. Always in the garden.

We sit in our seat. I peel off my clothes and lift my face to the sun. A baby dragonfly settles on my naked shoulder. It stays.

Coffee at the University café. It’s convenient for work. She’s a chatterbox. I can hear her. He can’t get a word in edgeways. Non-stop. She is a good woman, clearly, who needs to talk, to pour it out. She’s going away, yes, in the autumn, yes, to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Not her cup of tea. I’m a farmer’s girl, she says, a day out at Aberaeron is more my thing. And again, yesterday, he likes it there, bringing the stories home. Liz said it was hay fever, he says. Oh, I say. Yes, she says she has it now, caught it off her husband.

Getting ready. I feel a little distrait. I can’t start things. Winding-down. It will do me good. The space to think, away from the need to do. I must just succumb. Place myself in another’s hands. Yield.

He talked about the old country custom of sewing red speedwell into the lining of their coats. It was thought to bring good luck.

No sun today, just a milky stillness. Nice.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.