by RuthLivingstone about 5 years ago
The sky was blue, the grass was green and the little clouds were as fluffy as the picture in a child's reading book. All was well with the world. And on her swing, she could see above the park, above the neat hedges and the flowering bushes. She could, as she swung higher still, see over the row of terraced houses and into the street beyond. Over the flowering cherry trees and the neat gardens with their blossoming plants, over the heads of the middle class and middle aged gardeners and housewives and shoppers and busy bodies of the suburban street.
She could see beyond all that. To the mean, tall concrete towers of the renovated docklands beyond. To the tiny balconies where dripping washing hung and snotty nosed children crawled in playpens while pit bull terriers roamed on their concrete platforms. Where dripping water stained the concrete grey-green. Where the clamour of a thousand individual music machines created a heart beat of stress and tension - dub-dub, throb-throb.
And there was a child. A toddler. Standing on his balcony, balancing on a yellow plastic bowl (later she realised this was a potty) with his nappy sagging down to his knees and a tear stained face and wild hair that stuck out in clumps.
She saw the child intermittently. Because she only got a good view when the swing was high. When it sank down again, she could only see her pretty park and the hedges and the flowers.
Now up again and - where was he? There was the yellow plastic bowl and the balcony with its low railing - but no child!
Later she read about it in the local paper.