Found, Under the Bridge
Being the lost sheep isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It has happened more than once to me as you might have guessed already, because you are the one who found me today. Who lit the match in the dark beneath the bridge. The riverbed is long since dry, the gold diggers have gone, the water diverted to sluice out tonnes of soil from the hillside. There is no longer any space for grazing. And why I ask you? All for a few measly grains of gold dust to be weighed on the scales. But that’s not why I came. I was drawn here by the desire to help, to escape the clean and sterile world of my birth and parachute into this place of sickness, hunger and need. Just because I chose to come , because I wanted to leave the flock of my peers in their comfortable chairs with bookcases full of comfortable lies, doesn’t mean I am well suited to the task of helping here. I am only well meaning. I need to learn. Can you help me learn? It’s not so much the skill of spooning peanut paste into a child’s mouth, it’s more a case of learning to cope with the fear, not of becoming the same, but that I have always been the same, a person of sickness and hunger and need. You will take me back won’t you? It was a mistake to run away. I’m here to help. It’s just the fear is so very black and here under the bridge in the dark there is at least some sort of equilibrium. Don’t you feel it? Don’t you? I’d rather not come. But I can’t stay here, can I?
Writing from story cubes, Stromness Writing Group.