The Stream

Nothing tasted better than breakfast, so he thought for a long time, the ache never left him, the feeling of hunger. They had struggled together, she was social for the first five years of his life, stamps coupons and charity, amen. He passes over the fresh warm toast, his mother accepts it, she smiles, my boy she says, my boy, even if he had a father, what did it matter, she was the one who reared one. There was no music her side of the family, he had a brother who was a guitar genius, her son’s father, maybe that was where he got the talent from. From the back of the big yacht, she lapped it up, admiring her life many years later, except for the one yearning in her heart, we could have had a few of them, them, her children. She settled for one when she could have had a stream, then again, all she ever wanted was one.

 

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The Child Smiles

She pushes the buggy, she’s a young mother, it has not been easy, the windows she passes, she can see but can’t afford. The boy she pushes is her two year old son, his father is a delinquent, he has left them both. The money in her pocket will feed them for a few days, cheap pizza from the discount store, sugary biscuits and a little extra, not much more. Across the street, a stranger watches, he has been sent to help, they know she is in trouble. A vulnerable young woman and child is seen as easy prey to the evil mind, easy to coerce and control. She moves on, her smile is pursed, the child giggles, they pass the sweet shop, the boy cries out, she reverses, she can’t afford it but she tries. God Most High watches, 25 trillion off shore and the same again in other places. She feels the coins in her jacket, it was the money for the milk. They enter the shop, she stands before the display, the stranger enters, bumps into her, has gentle eyes. Nice boy he says, looking at the child, the eyes light up, the boy begins to laugh, the mother is surprised, she does not often see him like that, all lit up. You dropped this he says, with a knowing smile. She can read his thoughts, really she asks, he nods again, he never forgets he says. That smile is worth billions to the boss, every time he see’s one, something good happens.

We are going to have a treat today she says out on the street, while junior plasters his face with some sticky sweets, yeah says the kid, now we are really living mom

, amen.

The Old Bishop

 

Scandal is a word, a condition of the mind, the fear we have of others, the behaviourĀ of those we mind, the old man with a young heart, competing with the old men with no hearts, so it seems. They remember the expensive wine, the beautiful young woman, and how they fell in love, how did that happen, what a scandal they fumed.

Solomon was recalling an old warrior, who had passed to the next world, Eamon Casey is his name, a bishop who enjoyed good wine, rich company and a smile. He was sure God was welcoming him home, if only they were more humane he sighed, amen.