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Dancing Man

Page 7

Karen Lethlean

I am again trapped inside my mother’s memory treadmill. Hitting a stone wall of dead ends in amongst a maze, worse, I’ve thrown in a pebble, now tumbled along by jostling currents. Images pass through, glittering like trout hooks. Likely to provide some kind of connection. Grasping, trying, Mum finds these impossible to catch. As they quickly vanish into brain mists.

‘Dorothy and I had a real problem. After Sixth Division welcome home parade, a guy danced, right in Martin Place. Not easy to get home, buses all crowded. Everyone wanted to party.’

‘We watched a television show, showing two lines of troops in Martin Place. Movie news cameras capturing footage. Flags and tickertape poured out office windows.

‘An excuse to make a major mess, if you ask me.’

‘You must have been knee deep in paper.’

‘My mother said, Bill could finally come home.’

‘Did you look forward to that moment?’

‘What moment, Sally?’

‘Chance to maybe sit around and enjoy a Sunday roast, your father back amid family. Head of the table. Making an extra space for Uncle Bill. Perhaps jostling about who should carve meat.’

‘Not your uncle Bill, he was too young for war service. Still going to school. Wanted to enlist and give away his chance for a university course, but our parents wouldn’t let him.’

Tears well, as I look at her face, my mother becoming lost to me, in segments.



In memory of Valerie Turner who passed away on 13/1/2020.

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