Saturday, September 13, 2008

Green Tree Hill.

We are standing at the edge of a clearing, a small group, my children, and my siblings. We have caught the train to Cheltenham station and we leave the platform on the cemetery side. It is the cemetery side of the station that I am looking at but it seems very different somehow, more as if we have arrived in the country. The man is foreign. Puffy face, dark eyes. He holds the baby in his arms underneath a coarsely woven blanket. I know it’s a baby because I can hear it crying. The man looks as though he feels trapped, standing there on the edge of the clearing as if he had had some intention before we came along but now that intention has changed. We have stopped him in his tracks. He hesitates and just as I am about to offer to hold the baby for him, he throws it down onto the ground beside him and bolts. He is gone almost before we register the thud of the baby’s head on the ground and I am horrified at how close I have come to being able to save this baby. Why couldn’t he have put the baby down, not thrown it down so heavily. The thud of the head on the ground and then it rolls out of the blanket. The baby’s head has been severed and rolls over with no body attached. Its eyes are open, brown berry eyes as deep in colour as a pool of blood, wild staring eyes. I can only register the severed neck and cannot bear it any longer. I wake up.

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