October Scatterings

23 Oct 2020

Festival Les jours sont contés

un texte de Marta Singh

There was a time when if no one touched me, I could not feel myself.
Now?
Four feet stepping in, I follow the masked usher into the room where even the bricks on the walls were built for each other and the chairs, set six feet apart at odd angles, kiss the floor.
Two feet stepping out. I feel touched. By my own presence. Here.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out.
One. Has. Braved. It.
Touched. By her presence. Two.
Front and centre, a woman stands by a three-legged wooden stool. Still. Breathing inside her mask. Inside mine, I smile at her. And nod. She nods back.
Touched. By the longing in her eyes.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Three.
By the daring of others.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Four.
Her glasses fogged up by the steam train on her mask, she takes each of us in, then faces forward, her small purse hugged in her arms.
By how we hold onto what we can.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Five.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Six.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Seven.
No matter how far from the ocean we are, four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Eight.
We can still hold a seashell to our ear and hear four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Nine.
Four feet stepping in, two feet stepping out. Ten.
No matter how far apart we are set.
We are built for each other.
To be kissed at odd angles.
By the waves of footsteps rolling onto our shore.
By the fact that we are still standing. Together.
By the force of what we stand for.
By the lives we have walked to this chamber of resonance.
By the trust in the air we shall share now that the doors have closed.
By the village we hold as we sit.
We, on our chairs, she, on her three-legged wooden stool.
Front and centre.
As she begins:
Once upon a time.
Unmasked.
Gathering the pieces of what might have been, one by one, to safely carry us home.

 

 

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