I’m sheltering from the rain in the leigh of a dirty
back street. Across the road, a family does the same,
dressed in out-of-town greys, backs against the wall.
The father & mother are big, not fat, but ‘built’,
all three of their children laughing, shivering, messing
about as young kids do when they’re bored were. By contrast
they’re diminutive, fragile little stick bone people. As I
glance across, waiting for a lyric gem to drop I see father,
a towering mountain of frustration, grab the smallest of
the stick people by her little hood & shake her,
eyeball-to-eyeball in a bar room bruiser square-off.
His rant is muffled by the rain, but I see the little kid is
driven back inside herself as the family stride off down the
street, all the little stick folk follow duck like behind the
Henry Moore physiques of Mom & Dad. Everyone in shades of drab
except the little shaken stick girl, a jewel in the grime of
our back street seclusion in her bright blue anorak, left to
trail along alone at the back, recovering.