It would be inaccurate to say

It would be inaccurate to say
I remember chalk springs
and water meadows.
Memory implies they no longer live inside me,
shaping my future,
the clarity of the water chilling my bones.
I can never forget them
or the colour of the foliage
or the too-soon long walk home.

in response to a tweet from @londonlitlab 15/07/21

Clara and the painter

When Clara opened the door five years ago and let me in, a man was singing opera in another room. It’s the painter, she said, and said no more.

We sipped coffee from delicate white cups and I wondered what sort of artist would sing as he created. Clara flushed and called me bourgeois, incapable of understanding that even workers could appreciate fine things. He was painting the walls.

My cup tipped in its saucer as I lowered it towards the fine lace mat. I righted it and Clara flushed again. Her grandmother had had the sight and saw the future in the grounds.

You should leave, she said.

I did not see her again until a moment ago outside the pavement café. She was pushing a pram and I raised my cup to salute her. She did not respond. Perhaps she did not see me. I did not stand.