Gaynor Kane

Coming of age

Other girls went shopping for little white dresses and veils. She didn’t want, or need, any of this.

Looking in the mirror, sun firing up her auburn hair, she felt foxier than ever. She pawed at her little pointed nose, breathed in the smell of freshly mown lawn, petrichor, the charcoal from a barbeque three streets away. 

Yesterday, her mother had left a razor on the bathroom shelf for her. She knew that she wasn’t going to use it. A swipe across her tablet, some clicks and several pairs of new trousers were on the way, next day delivery. She rubbed a hand down her leg, felt the smooth fur, warm and soft. A distant dog barked and she cocked her head.

Coming of age was natural.

Lola

The Brazilian sun sparked in the highest point of the sky, scorching skin and turning the sidewalk to lava. As Lola set off on her daily walk, her nostrils filled with pungent city smells. Passing the end of an alley, she heard a soft whining sound and took a detour to investigate. Pulling apart fruit store garbage revealed an infant, swaddled in a grimy rag, wrinkled skin and squirming. Lola gently lifted the bundle taking care not to hurt it. Their eyes met, the baby cooed.

There was a hospital only four blocks away. She often walked past it and knew people would be coming and going. Often the staff had flashed her warm smiles, she decided that was the best place. On arrival at the steps, Lola rested the baby in a shadowed corner. Out bounced a young male nurse. Lola noticed he smelt of antiseptic. The nurse looked down with a frown as he noticed the bundle. Just as Lola was turning to leave he bent down.

‘Good dog’ he patted ‘I’ll take care of the baby now’.

Gaynor Kane is from Belfast. She is published by the Hedgehog Poetry Press and her books include ‘Memory Forest’, ‘Penned In’ (co-written with Karen Mooney) and ‘Venus in Pink Marble’, which was Black Bough’s ‘Book of the Month’ in November 2020. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane

Lola first appeared in The Bangor Literary Journal issue 9

Flights. Issue One, June 2021