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I watched the man.

He paced back and forth on the verandah, eyes placed

firmly on the blazing horizon. His hands reached towards

his face, as he palmed off the perspiration.

I watched, as he lit a cigarette. He’d rolled them himself.

Cheaper that way, one would imagine.

Money’s tight in these times.

A small ember was produced from the flick of the lighter

as he brought his head towards the burning flame. He

drew in the chemicals and sighed. Relief.

A large puff of smoke was released from the whisper of

his lips.

I watched the man with his mother.

He’d so much love to give to everyone but himself.

And soon he had none.

I watched the man.

His white shirt had become moist from the unforgiving

beating inferno in the sky. He trudged through the dry

cornfields; gritting his teeth as the dry stalks formed

callouses against his burnt arms. He was lost.

He’d no direction.

Yet he was looking for a way out.

I watched the mother.

A broken woman.

I watched,

As the pills fell from the wisps of her fingers.

I watched,

As she fumbled for her water; she looked exhausted.

Exasperated; she was defeated.


She had not a soul left to care for her.

I watched the man.

He’d sat in the rotting chair facing towards the thirsty

cornfields. Yellow, dry and barren, they longed to be


Echoes In

My Mind

Anita Ye

Isobelle Carmody Award

for Creative Writing