'Red Carnation' by J Adamthwaite




I look for women who understand flowers.
       The little boy didn't notice the red crayon he had dropped under the seat when his mother hurried him off the train, so I picked it up and drew a picture of a carnation on the back of an election flyer. I went over it three times and the petals flaked like old lipstick.
       I glanced at her, sitting opposite and reading a second-hand newspaper. She looked up.
       I held up the flyer, hoping she would recognise the ruffled petals, the tarragon-leaves.
       She smiled, held up her ring finger: married. 

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