There was a moment today where the sun hit the leaves of the tree by the upper field and it shone dazzling copper
I stood in quiet awe like I had found hidden treasure or witnessed an unexpected birth and the leaves glowed and smouldered for a few seconds as if small god had thrown handfuls of pennies into the sky
Against the gilt backdrop he walked all that way and I could see the shape of him cut against the gold and shimmer the pace of his walk as he came to find me and to talk
We learn names fast on this street by watching footwork hearing them chant for whoever holds court a victory at their feet that can’t be bought
Scuffed school shoes toeing the ball this way, that lost again in seconds flat again, again, again cawing verbs, begging for a battered balloon a sphere so tattered one could assume it nears death
Again, for it they call a squalling clutch of baby birds leak, lank breathing cold air like ship steam bolting up the flank – the hot chimneys of their unblemished lungs pumping fuel a scrabble, a dance none too cool for rough knees and shins
Their backwards prance gains pace, with speed stab and volley thrilled, each shriek in kind as the ball flies upwards they gaze, running blind their ragged god lost in the winter sun
She had wanted to listen to that new Phoebe Bridgers album on the drive home from school. Just shy of 41 minutes, she knew she would be home before the penultimate track, but was prepared to sit in the car until its finish, if the album proved worth it.
She waited until she had driven out of the area entirely, before connecting Bluetooth and pressing the play button on her phone. The car stereo came slowly to life. She allowed it all to fade into obscurity, rounding the corner onto Fairfield: the gates of the school, the bus stop, the manicured hedgerow, and the smattering of parked Audi parents in gilets and floaty dresses, waiting for their kids.
NME had promised a sonic palette – something close to ethereal – and she would give the album her full attention.
But it was not to be. Looming in the distance, four yellow roadworks signs, and a subsequent diversion, had already interrupted some of the finer dissonances in Track 4, and the experience had, all at once, been marred. She pressed the power button on the car stereo and stared through the windscreen, listening only to the beginnings of flat patter on the glass, and waiting for the lights to go green. She would have to take Hedley, and avoid the A road altogether.