Saturday 24 June 2023

Debut Flash: 'Different Kinds of Grizzly' by Saff Hill

I’ve not faced-down a grizzly whilst trekking in Alaska. Tried to stand taller, shout but groan, remember to shuffle sideways and slowly, resist the impulse to run, wonder where I’ve tucked my bear spray. But I’ve watched a humming bird; tiny, face in pinkest bloom, suspended without strings, wings out-flapping sight

I’ve not felt intoxicated by the aroma of wild lavender, gambling through scorching, purple fields en Provence, fingers trailing, roughly, bumble releases of perfume. But my nostrils have been assaulted by the rotten eggy whiff of thermal bubblings in ‘Rotten-rua’ - the land of hyper real, lava-heated mud and geyzers firing from the earth, cobalt glacial lakes and glow worm lamps

I haven’t tasted caviar in St Petersburg, fingers as cold as the designer ice it’s served on. A mother of pearl spoon delivering micro portions Alexander would approve of. But I’ve seen my Dad’s face light up at Co-op’s own brand taramasalata, scooped straight from the tub with a pitta trowel

I haven’t heard a nightingale sing in Berkley Square, or any London park, recalling My Fair Lady, bygone times, lucky cockney flower girls, and everyone with a ready-song. But this morning I caught the elephants’ trumpetings rrom behind walls on my Sunday morning run. Cries to be free, or at least for visits to break up the monotony of long weekends.

I haven’t felt the skin-on-skin of new born, released and laid on my sweaty tum, exhausted, sticky and bloody. Tired eyes locked on each other. But I’ve known a timeless ‘yessus!’ on meeting my newly arrived nieces. A grizzly aunt’s ferocious instinct to protect, a bond beyond the wild.

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