Nigel Ford


A woman, blundering, weeping torrents, crunches the towpath gravel,
a wounded pride, a ridiculed suggestion, any guess will do.

She wants a shoulder to lean on.

And there it is. The succour of the bench. Pale and pristine in the moonlight. Clean, calm and confident. A noble knight.

Silly, she tells herself, a half smile flickers in the dark, how could it be, not a gender of any kind. Definitely not the arms of a large and confident male. Although it looks kind.

She sits. It feels kind.

The small waves of the river mounted and glittered in the spare light of night, wound downstream, chased by the shrill cries of bats.

The cruelty in her veins spread, the harsh, indifferent words still cracked across the solent moon. The insidious worm of dismay crept through her marrow, muttered at her “I will never say goodbye”.

She shakes her head, hair flying violently around her face pale in the vague moonlight, patches of shadow clouds race across the water, a convoy of broken sticks crash significantly into the rushes and struggle, one breaks away and flees, circling downstream.

Like my soul, she murmurs. Like my soul, I too shall be free, break away in the eventuality of wayward times, from the regret that stirs in my new blood, keeps me warm in unexpected company.

Nigel Ford lives in Sweden and the UK, and works as a translator, writer and visual artist. He recently completed a collection of some 300 pieces of flash fiction entitled Pictures in Narrative, some of which have been recently published in various US and UK literary magazines.