Posted by: normanlgreen | December 3, 2011

Dream, December 3, 2011 the severed foot

Dream, Home, 8:10 am

I am one of a gang of Irish boys in a seaside town.
We run about like savages with little sense of obligation to others, yet have our own system of justice. A boy we know gets killed, run over by a train. His foot is severed from the rest of his corpse. He was not one of our favorites, so when we learn the news, one of our group reminds us how the dead child used to complain about everything in the town and how he would not swim in the river as it was too filthy for him.

My gang steals the foot.

All go tearing off towards the estuary, beside which there is an old stone pier extending into the sea. I cannot run so fast as the others, so I lope after them. I hear the children cheer as they throw the foot into the water. When I reach the foot of the pier, the tide has come in and there is a stretch of water which I must wade before climbing onto the granite block. Now the water seems filthy to me as well, especially as it has the single foot somewhere below its surface. I join the others who lean on a thin rail and look through the lapping waves toward the shore, wanting to find the foot – in my mind it wears a shoe of solid gold. The sun is straight over head and the water glares with its reflection. One boy points toward the spot where it sank, a round pool near the place, across the river, where they hold public hangings.

I start to cry and tell the others that we should not have done it. Everyone grows remorseful, some weep while others wail. I cannot see the sunken foot for all of the flotsam that drifts from the mouth of the dirty river.

I leave the other kids and walk into the town. It is a market day and so beautiful and clear that everyone’s face is lit with the spirit of a fair. No one seems bothered by the death nor the crime that we committed. I want to get away from the crowd, but the hillside has shops along the upper edge and a worn bank on the lower. An East Indian gentleman with a sweaty face and big smile has struggled and pulled himself up the sandy bank. He says: “I though it would be easier taking the shorter route.”


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