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"Childhood Photos; Mother, Missing" by Fiona McKay

The ice-cream soda comes in brown bottles, sometimes with a packet of crisps, as we play under the table, under everyone’s feet, in the dark bar, the sun blazing down outside, while dad and his mates tell loud-laughing stories, and the older kids are allowed off to the beach.

My striving tongue seeks out the delicate flavour, drinking too fast in elusive capture, nothing left to savour but empty time that could have been spent digging damp sand and being salt-licked by waves, the stated purpose of the day that I could only dream of, on the gritty, butt-strewn floor.


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