I was sat at a table outside in the shade
Well leaning actually, elbows on the table, chin in hands, musing
I was enjoying a gentle breeze, a relief from the heat of the sun
I had been burnt earlier
Burnt in the pursuit of one more chapter of the book I was reading.
Tesco didn’t mention getting burnt when they sold me the book.
£3.78 they said.
Not £3.78 and a burnt back!
Maybe I wouldn’t have bought it if I had known the full price
But you rarely do with books, know the full price I mean
Some transpire to have little value
Some are unsettling
With others we are taken on epic journeys
We visit countries and experience life we could only dream of otherwise
We become cowboys, spies, soldiers, lovers or explorers
We can be lost in far off galaxies
Or lost in life
We experience love and death as we greedily suck the words from the pages
All for £3.78
Yet the cost varies
So there I was relaxing in the breeze, chin in hands, eyes closed
I heard or perhaps felt something and reluctantly opened my eyes.
A white dove
Standing on the table slightly to one side of me
It seemed to notice me and leant it’s head to one side
It looked long and hard at me
It seemed rude not to acknowledge it so I said ‘hello’
It didn’t answer
Just continued to stare
Then it slowly moved, well it shuffled sideways really
Until it stood directly in front of my face
Maybe a hands length away
It’s head leaned first one way and then the other as it stared
It was framed by a tumbling mass of flame red bougainville that covered the wall across the square
The pure white of it’s feathers seemed to shimmer against the blood red backdrop
It looked unreal
It had piercing blue eyes
Or perhaps they were green
But maybe the tint of my sunglasses meant I was way off the mark with both colours.
Perhaps it was looking at it’s reflections on my sunglasses
Looking at two other doves, reflected
Or was it looking at me and wondering.
‘Bonjour’ I said, thinking that it maybe didn’t speak English
It continued staring
It puffed out it’s chest, winked at me and flew away.
It flew past the curtain of blood red bougainville and up into a cerulean sky
Leaving me to wonder, the why’s and the wherefores.
I watched it, until it was too small to see
Then quietly said ‘farewell’ and just in case ‘au-revoir’