Then

“Palm readings by the pair”— fortunes in the city! Stale patchouli whiffs; a spidery chandelier; gold at her turtle throat. Her pilling shawl was fringed with foggy opal tears. She …

“Palm readings by the pair”—
fortunes in the city!
Stale patchouli whiffs;
a spidery chandelier;
gold at her turtle throat.
Her pilling shawl was fringed
with foggy opal tears.

She gripped our hands in hers
and squinted. Black nails traced
glittering midnight bridges,
riddles tucked in gourds;
faces with flowing beards
that meant us only good.
“And here”—a knightly pledge

secured by ring and keys.
She said a brusque farewell
as we paid up: two nods.
Linking arms, we strode
back to our honking streets,
barely twenty, jaunty,
trolling like rowdy gods.

This appeared in the October 2011 issue.

Elise Partridge
Elise Partridge wrote Fielder’s Choice and Chameleon Hours.

Enjoy What You’re Reading?

Fact-based journalism is our passion and your right.

We feature Canadian voices and expertise on stories and events with a global impact, from the mainstreaming of cannabis to the fallout of the SNC-Lavalin affair to Canada's response to COVID-19, and we firmly believe that this reporting can change the world around us.

We’re asking readers like you to support The Walrus so we can continue to lead the Canadian conversation.
Every contribution makes a difference.
Please support The Walrus from as little as $2.
Donations of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *