The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

the end of the porch evening


The blonde girl stood on tiptoes when he stood to say goodbye. She always ended up standing that way around him, wanting to see into his face, wanting to match his tall frame.

He wore a raunchy cowboy shirt, and sandals that had seen better days. His hair stood at angles in its unwashed army coif – unwashed being a point of pride, his summer spent untouched by shampoo or chemicals – hair soft like baby-bird feathers at his nape, but unruly hair just the same.

Earlier that evening on the porch in a conversational jag, he managed a phrase so bald that her mouth gaped.

\”Afghan women might be burqua\’d to the tits but you just know they\’re wearing jewellery under there!\”.

He grinned. She was shocked & amazed. Surprised laughter bubbled from her face.

His battered brown hand reached up to slip the baubles from her thin braids, and as he unwound the strands of her hair (shampoo\’d, controlled, contained), she felt something in her stomach softly burst, like
water balloons on a hot afternoon.

Stretching out her hand to touch his collarbone, she heard herself say,
\”Hey…you make me feel like a Natural Woman…\”
and the blonde girl was happy inside, like warm grass in the park on a summer day.

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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