To Phoebe

It was written in blue on the back of an envelope in large childish letters, To Phoebe. I saw the empty envelope lying on the pavement of Llanbadarn Road as I walked this morning. I also noticed a piece of paper pinned to a tree at the top of St David’s Road, I stopped to read it. Have you seen our cat? it read, next to a picture of a big, fluffy moggy. The house where the doctor who died used to live was lit up as I walked by. I could see his daughter in the dining room bending down over her baby possibly, her hair falling forward.

The two of us watched as one of the various cats that live around us here stealthily made its way across the wilderness between us and the National Library on the hill. She, we called it a she not knowing for certain, moved gingerly, her white fur stark against the mess of green and brown.

A line of gold balloons formed into letters read Happy Birthday on a living room wall of a student house that I passed on my way into town. The lights were on but the room was empty.

The shops of the town are getting ready for opening next week. Window displays are half-done, boxes lie around half-unpacked. There is a spirit of optimism. See you soon, one sign reads. May it last.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.