Girl Wrapped in Beads by Amanda Oosthuizen

Look at the girl. Yes, you. Look. She’s wrapped in beads from head to toe. Every bead is a raindrop gem, a gallery of portraits strung together with hope.

Has she done this all by herself?

Follow her. Go on. She’s heading to the platform.  Now watch. She’ll open her mouth into a great O. And as she breathes out, hear that sound, as pure as a flute, as powerful as a sailor’s rope twining between the pillars and arches. Don’t be startled. Forget your factory of worries and your droning engine of voices.

Sit by me on the ledge. I know it’s cold. You can share my cushion. Listen to the echo. Hear her voice bounce off the windows into the galleries, up into the towers, whirling amongst the rafters. Maybe, if we’re very still, in those beads you’ll see your life tinted to brightness, what it might become.

No, don’t be afraid. Don’t you like what you hear? Don’t you like what you see?

Come back. No, don’t touch the beads. Really. Don’t.

Amanda Oosthuizen’s stories and poems have been published online, in print, in galleries, in Winchester Cathedral and pasted up on the London Underground. Recent successes include the Winchester Poetry Prize and The Pre-Raphaelite Society’s poetry competition. Work is forthcoming in Cosmonauts AvenuePrelude, Storgy and Under the Radar.  She has an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester where she was joint winner of the Kate Betts Prize, and earns her living by writing and arranging music and teaching woodwind. Twitter: @amandaoosty.