Winny - 1970s - (small jpeg)

He came home with a birdfeeder (essentially a┬áplastic tray that suckers onto a window) and a bag of seeds called ‘peckish ‘. I’d seen them a few days ago. Blue tits. Hundreds of them. I hear them daily, with their metallic, clicking call. And I wanted to feed them, to please them. So I filled the tray with seed and fixed it to the kitchen window and waited. And waited. Nothing yet. Each morning I look to see if the seed has been disturbed. Nothing. Nothing yet. They won’t come, he says, not if they can see you there. Perhaps not. We’ll see. I’ll wait a little while longer.

I remember her holding a sparrow. It was in Spain. They are everywhere, nipping in an out of bushes, pecking at crumbs. It was injured, a broken wing. She held it with such tenderness, its heart fit to burst. I can’t remember what happened to it. Did it die? She used to do the same with the ducklings on the farm. I recall several in the kitchen being fed bread soaked in milk. She’d kneel down and get up close. Small things. She felt safe with small, dumb things.

The muscles in one of my legs have gone again. What is that about? Am I meant to slow down? I felt it go, in the gym. A tearing, almost a snapping. I try to walk through it, hoping it will just heal. On its own. It won’t. I need to rest it. And each morning I walk a little less. Just to the sea this morning. Just a mile, not much more. I need to go out – I need the fresh air. Just a little, then I will rest. I promise.

My phone went wrong. Not sure why. Mercury playing its tricks. Its OK. I was secretly glad. I stiffen when it rings. I always have. What is that about, this dislike of phones? Even when it is him. There is a separation, a distance – a face that I cannot read. And yet, they fascinate me too. I’m even making a piece of work about them. The things people say. You can hide behind them – become someone else. Become kind. Yes. It is possible to do that. Become kind.

God, you were beautiful. I miss you. No, I miss the possibility of you. And that is something to be lost. Yes.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.