The Gift

A walk in the park.
I see a girl sitting cross-legged on the grass,
in front of her a box tied neatly with red ribbon,
she stares at it, her chin resting in her palms.
She doesn’t move.
I watch others watching till a boy approaches,
he sits next to her, she looks up at him and nods.
More join them till the grass is strewn with people,
I watch from a distance.
Eventually the girl stands, carefully lifts up the box
and picks her way through the crowd, a hand is moved, a foot
to ease her path but as they sit and talk and laugh
they hardly notice her leave.
She walks past me, I stand and touch her arm.
She tilts her head at me knowing what I’m about to ask,
What’s in the box? I say. She shakes it to her ear.
A safe space she says and smiles.



Fundamentally a figurative artist, Helen Finney has been fortunate enough to find herself trapped in Thailand for the duration of the pandemic, a long way from her studio in Swansea. What better excuse to write?