Lollipop Lady

You see odd things in the dark, in the early morning, even here, in this benign little town. A man lurches ahead of me, no coat, does he know how to get home? Then a woman is coming up the road pushing a pram. She is on the opposite pavement and calls out to the man. I can’t hear what she says. He doesn’t respond. I pass her, she is on my side of the road now. Good morning, I call out. She is wary. Good morning, she says. She has on a high vis jacket, and another one has been draped over the front of the pram. She is tiny. A fake fur hat┬ásits on top of her head like a red cockerel’s comb. She looks a little wild about the eyes. Is there a baby in the pram? Or is it a carrier for her belongings. The pram looks new, small, for an infant. Then she is gone.

A warm visit. I will write of it later, maybe. I opened drawers looking for matches in a kitchen in the early morning before the house was awake and found order, sweetness and saved bag ties. They drop me at the station I turn to wave and they’ve already forgotten me. The circle quickly closed. Then I turn again and he is lifting his hand in farewell. Then he is on the platform waiting for me. And things feel better. I am found.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.