Willow

You are an eight year-old girl, mucking about on the Raba’s banks. The reeds grew lush where you play hide-and-seek with your friends. The soil under your bare feet is muddy and squishy, cool and soothing. Dragonflies are plentiful; the occasional one helicopters near, at eye level, pauses in mid-flight, swivel-hovers showing off its jewelline splendour.

An old willow nearby offers cool respite from the noon-day heat. You creep through the reed stalks, silently, you think, but the crisp raspy sounds of your passage might give you away to be found. Once safely huddled near the mottled trunk, under shrouds of silver-green, you seek refuge in the thick shifting curtain of leaf-fall. Light that might sear your unprotected eyes out of the shade, is broken into moving shards twinkling into your safe hideout, and makes camouflage shadow patterns on your skin and clothes.  You want to remain there forever, part willow, part light and shade. Safe.

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