Monday, 25 January 2010

A small white lump of bread

Swans along the canal. White swans all piling in on top of one another. Diving and swooping into the litterd water. Necks jerking, thrusting deep into the water. Beaks tearing at the white piece of bread. Breaking off a piece, tossing the remainder into the air. Seagulls just above, just out of reach. Their caw caw calling, travelling over disant traffic. They are swooping and gliding on their own plane of circulation, just above the swans with their lower bodies submerged in the cold water.  Unseen webbed feet carry them here and there making use of the water and the resistant it gives to them. Swans butting into one another flapping, jostling, tearing at the one piece of bread which is being flipped between them. But one rushes to consume. The others wait, for an opportunity. They tear and butt at it when it falls their way. Rush to its place of landing even while it travels still in the air. Until the larger one arrives and they turn tail.  Their necks are dusty- dirt ingrained in the white close-knit plummage. Their breast bones, massive, the front of the ship steering and bolstering them against the counter-current of their own eratic food fueled movements.  The seagulls continue to turn, caw, cawing just above the small heads pinned on top of the outstretched  plummage which pay no attention to this circulation that never descends.

Behind the barrier a small girl holds the hand of her mother. They both are dressed identically in grey coats with black stockings. The child is a small version of her mother tidily standing beside her and has the same apprehensive and intelligent expression on her pale face. Her brown shiny hair, like her mother's, is tightly pulled back off her face. In her free hand she holds a transparent plastic bag and in the bag I glimpse a small white lump of bread.

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