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Verge 2017 – Chimera


Long Haul

Claire Orchard

When I was a teenager, dreams involving my dead father

always entailed the romance of travel.

My subconscious must have decided that any possible heaven

was going to be far enough away

to need serious long distance transport options.

There was the dream about the ferry boat, the one about

the double-decker bus, another had him arriving on a paddle steamer

looking uncomfortable in his black wool overcoat,

one hand clinging to his briefcase as he perched

precariously on top of an enormous pile of bananas. That was

a pretty good one. But, in my categorical all-time favourite,

he arrived on a Boeing 747, through a canopy of clouds.

Sunlight reflected off the aircraft’s white wings

as it banked towards the runway, momentarily blinding me. It landed,

taxied to the terminal, where the ground crew wheeled over the stairs,

the air crew flung open the door, and he emerged.

He stopped for a moment, poised on the top step. My father,

smiling down like a god. He was blocking the access way.

Loads of other dead people, people I didn’t even know,

clustered impatiently at his back, pushing,

but he wouldn’t budge, even though I was waving

like mad, to show him where I was.

Verge 2017 – Chimera

   by Bonnie Reid, Aisling Smith and Gavin Yates