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October 2016, vol 12 no 3

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Keitha Keyes


I wasn’t allowed out with boys, but I was allowed to go out with my cousin. One night he took me to a dance. As soon as we got there he left me and zoomed over to a group of girls. After a while a boy came and asked me for a dance. I could tell he was Italian so I wasn’t sure if I should, but I said yes. He was a great dancer.

Later he asked me if he could take me home. I thought that was very kind of him to offer and my cousin was nowhere to be seen. We walked to the car park and I wondered which car was his. Then we stopped beside a vegetable truck and he opened the door for me.

When we pulled up in front of my house, he put on the handbrake and moved a bit closer to me. Perhaps he was going to hold my hand, or even kiss me…. But Mum turned on the front light and came out to the truck and told him to leave. Then she told me I smelt like garlic.

a last glimpse
of moths swirling
in the lamp light . . .
on leaden feet
I step into darkness