Little Miss Wonder

Little Miss Wonder


This picture held within a twisted, metal frame is disjointed. Hazy. Fragmented. It takes a few seconds for my eyes to attempt making any sense of the deranged jigsaw puzzle strewn before me. To my left, a ladies beige handbag gapes open with a wide grimace. I don't want to look but I know I must.

I see a photograph. Two young women sat in a bar. Tanned faces, mouths smiling, glowing with friendship. A snapshot of someone's personal memory. A chrome lipstick case slowly rolls across the dirty floor, catching the light which cuts through the smoke that lays low like a dead cloud over this unreal scene.

Next to the photo one polished shoe lies upside down as if simply left abandoned. The leather sole is almost worn through. I can imagine its owner dressed in smart suit and shiny, black brogues, glancing at his watch as he hurries along the pavement to the station that morning.

I can't focus on the whole image. My brain is struggling to tell me what the information means. Wait. I hear something. A high pitched tune. It reminds me of a nursery rhyme I used to sing when I was small. The same melody playing over and over again. I recognise it now. A mobile phone. That's what is. Why doesn't anyone answer?

I feel nauseous. I want to turn away but my eyes are drawn to the crumpled object which dangles from the only blue velour seat which remains upright. A raggedy soft toy. I'm drifting. My body feels heavy. I am fading into blackout. I think of my own beautiful daughter. Looking out through this shattered window I know when help arrives there will be no signs of life in the carriage. Only mementos.

Little Miss Wonder.
6 April 2004.