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Portrait of a Woman on a Train

I didn’t see her face at first, her wise eyes nor furrowed brow. The grace and glint of knitting needles and brightly painted nails caught my eye.

Headphones in, she focussed in. Each stitch, each click, synced in with rocking-rolling head and shoulders – and not quite whispered lyrics on her lips. 

Eyes closed, she knit and knit and knit until her music ended and she took a look. Eyes popped, cheeks puffed, head shook; mistake! But she blew away frustration with a smile and swift fingers tripped over each other to unravel everything. 

Then twisting wrist shoved hunting hand through all the stuff stuffed in a bag with Be Creative stitched upon it; un-entwining, dragging forth tiny, shiny, scissors for a hasty snip. 

Her headphone wire almost bought it!

But with a smirk and arch of tattooed brow, she dropped the scissors. Then loop-and-knot and she was off again. Deft. She knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and stood. Her stop had crept up on her.

DMs (18 holers with embroidered flowers), navy leggings, orange printed blouse and brown trench coat rushed down the aisle, towards a slouch of stagnant teens engrossed in their smart world.

Eyes down, they liked and shared and commented but wouldn’t budge. 

She didn’t tut, excuse herself or unsheathe her pointed elbows - though she could’ve - she just stood, four thin gold chains around her neck, and stood, pumpkin earrings caught in bleach-blonde hair, and stood, bright blue liner round her eyes, resolute, until those youngsters sensed her strength and moved.

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