Visiting time over, mother was ill in hospital she had been so tired lately.
Nearby a small stream, an empty box of matches was my raft, rudderless
it rushed down rapids and disappeared under ground, under the town
and I wondered if it reached the docks. I had bought mother a chocolate,
in the same shop that sold oranges and but they were too expensive,
but ate most of the chocolate while listening to her instructions, to peel
spuds, buy milk and yesterday loaf (half the price), open a tin of sardines.
But first I had to go down to the docks see what ships were in and also try
to find my raft. When I came home mother stood smoking in the kitchen,
she had peeled the spuds. They had let her out only so she could pack her
suitcase; she had to go up the mountains, where the air was pure, and be
cured… and I knew why I hadn’t found my raft.